Missing Three Year Old Found Alive After Two Days

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, In The News, Weird But True

A three-year-old Missouri boy was found unharmed in the woods after wandering away from home on Monday.

A three-year-old Missouri boy was found unharmed in the woods after wandering away from home on Monday. Photo courtesy of sxc.hu.

Here's a nice story for you.

Three year old Joshua Childers wandered away from his house at 11:30 am Monday morning. Mom was taking a nap, dad was on the phone. The parents of course panicked when they couldn't find their son. Turns out Joshua had wandered into Mark Twain Forest in Madison County, Missouri. Despite the friendly name, the forest is pretty treacherous. Bears. Mountain lions. Snakes. (Oh my.) Frankly, no matter what the terrain is like, he's a little kid. So him being lost for more than a few seconds would be enough to send me looking for a Valium. Or four.

Luckily, Joshua was fine. Searcher Donnie Halpin found him. Well, first he found his butt. Donnie told CBS' Early Show: "I could just see the little part of his little butt sticking up there, and I took a couple more steps, and I could see his legs. I thought the worst at first. I said, 'Hey, buddy,' And that little feller just sit right up, gets a little smile on his face and I asked him, 'Do you want to go home?'" He did. I mean, hey. Clearly the kid is pretty tough and may be the future host of Survivorman. But he's still only three years old.

Not only did Joshua survive the ordeal with just a few bumps and scrapes -- he wasn't even wearing pants! CBS News says that the tot was wearing "just a pull-up diaper, a t-shirt and sneakers." Amazing.

All's well that ends well, of course. But this does bring up a fear that I think all parents have, especially when our kids are this young: The possibility that your child might get out of the house unsupervised. We live in an apartment, and once I realized that my youngest son could open the bottom lock on our front door, I made certain that the top lock was secure at all times. My hope is that by the time he's tall enough to reach the top lock, he will also be smart enough to not leave. My motto: No toddler jailbreaks.

Tell us your stories: Did your children ever wander away from home when they were toddlers? How far did they get? Did you find them yourself or call in reinforcements?

Brett Singer is the editor-in-chief of DaddyTips.com. You can follow his tweets at Twitter.com/brettsinger.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.