- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Officials in Daytona Beach will pass out yellow, waterproof wristbands to beachgoers this summer in an effort to reduce the number of lost children.

It’s the second year for the program in Volusia County, where the Beach Safety Division hands out the bracelets between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Parents or guardians are asked to scribble their phone number on the wristbands.

If a child is found alone, officers will call the number on the bracelet to reconnect families.

“When we get a missing kid, especially a very young one, it’s not always easy to get information from them such as their parent’s name, where they were, what their parent is wearing,” Sasha Medina, a Beach Safety officer, said. “It’s just an easier way for us to reconnect them with their party.”

The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://bit.ly/1Aciov4) reports beach safety officers have about 20,000 wristbands. At least six hotels also will be passing them out to guests.

“We have a pretty heavy family clientele during the summer,” Paige Koerbel, managing director at Hilton Dayton Beach Oceanfront Resort, said. “Our property is beachfront and kids can wander off pretty easily. We had one incident last year that I’m sure was traumatic for the people involved. Hopefully, we can prevent that this year.”

Mark Swanson, director for the Volusia County Beach Safety Division, said he believes the implementation of the bracelet program contributed to a drop in lost children. During last year’s summer season, officers counted 114 missing children on the beach, down from 134 the previous year.

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Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com

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