With the holiday season just around the corner, many families will be busy making their shopping lists and checking them twice!
We suggest that you leave young children at home with a trusted babysitter. However, if your child accompanies you to the mall and stores, we would like to remind parents to reinforce the following safety rules:
- As you prepare to leave your home, snap a photo of your child on your smartphone. In the event of an emergency, such as getting separated in a busy public area, you will have a complete description of the clothing your child was wearing;
- When arriving at your destination, identify with your child all the safe people and places where he can seek help if needed;
- Remind your child that he must stay within sight at all times;
- Tell your child to never leave the mall or store without you;
- Always accompany younger children to any public restroom;
- Never leave your child alone in a public place such as a toy store, video arcade, movie theatre or playground;
- If someone tries to take your child out of the mall or store, teach your child to yell: “This is not my Dad (or Mom)! I need help!”, then run away and tell a safe adult such as a security guard or store clerk;
- Never leave young children alone in the car, even for a few minutes;
- Respect your child if he shows any distress or discomfort sitting on Santa’s lap – keep in mind that your child is learning to trust his instincts by listening to his internal alarm. This may prove invaluable in the event that your child is ever approached by an individual with questionable intentions.