Be Careful What You Monogram–It’s For Your Child’s Safety

Be Careful What You Monogram–It’s For Your Child’s Safety

Mom Jeanine
June 17, 2010


Accessories, Good Question, hot topic, Safety

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When my daughter started school a few months back, I got her this adorable monogrammed animal backpack from Pottery Barn Kids. It was only $19 and it was perfect because her teachers would never have to guess which bag was hers when they needed to send papers home. Or so I thought.

I had to take her to a doctor’s appointment before school one day and of course we brought her backpack with us. We’re sitting waiting for the doc and what’s the first thing she says when she walks in? You need to be careful with that backpack. Huh?

Now normally, my pediatrician is totally mellow and laid back–that’s why I chose her. But I could see she was very serious about this. Here’s what she said: If your daughter is with someone who doesn’t know everyone you know, a stranger with bad intentions could see her name on her backpack and call her away from that person. Or even if she playing at the playground with you, all it takes is knowing a child’s name to lure them away.

Whoa. Those thoughts never even crossed my mind when I bought the backpack. I immediately starting thinking of all the times she was at the playground at school and how vulnerable she was…all because of a friggin’ Pottery Barn Kids backpack.

Given my doctor’s orders, I’ve since taken the backpack out of commission. Now it’s just for playtime in the house. And I haven’t gotten my daughter anything else monogrammed. And I’m even cautious about saying her name when we’re out in public. I try to only use nicknames and pet names when we’re going to and coming from school.

Sometimes I wonder, though, am I completely crazy for being so paranoid? I know it’s better to be safe than sorry, but my daughter really loves that backpack and I refuse to let her wear it outside the house. What’s do you think?

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  • KristyC
    June 17, 2010

  • I certainly understand the doctor’s concern, and it is a concern I share. Having said that, I would let her use the backpack when she is with YOU. To outings with family, etc. Also, have MANY conversations with her about strangers. Maybe institute a family password – she doesn’t go with anyone who doesn’t know the password.

  • Aimee D
    June 17, 2010

  • I completely agree. Better safe than sorry. I was going to get a personalized license plate with my child’s name and someone told me about these very same issues. Needless to say, no license plate and no backpack. Kudos to @KristyC for the “family password” idea, I love it and I will definitely be doing this.

  • claire
    June 17, 2010

  • O have heard that about luggage and airports. Mu kids have personalized backpacks for going to school.

  • VondaL
    June 19, 2010

  • I too have heard many concerns about personalized backpacks but I too like KristyC thinks it is fine to allow your daughter to use it when she is with you and at family functions. I wouldn’t go to the stadium, airport or a huge arena with a personalized backpack just in case your child got separated from you, but I do think we can become too paranoid. Heck we used to all play in our neighborhoods when Mama was inside cooking dinner and everything was okay…It is such a different world out there now but I think being cautious is good but I think it’s even more important to teach our children about safety just in case they ever do get into a compromising situation. And I love the family password idea too!

  • Jenne
    September 22, 2011

  • Like I said on your other post, I’d really test this to see if it applies to your child. (My first name is Jennifer. Trust me, someone just calling for ‘Jenny’ couldn’t lure me away from my mom when I was a kid!) Get a co-worker or friend your kid has never met to call to your kid when you’re out in public, and see if she responds. If she does, have a talk about how just because someone knows your name doesn’t mean they are safe, and how to be safe in public.

    Because, you know, unless no one ever calls your kid by her name in public, there’s a chance a stranger could learn her name.