Holiday periods are joyful periods of the year. They are also periods when you need to be extra-careful when out and about with your children. Parents need to keep their children safe from accidents, food poisoning, abductions and sexual assaults during the holidays, Between frenzied trips to the mall for holiday shopping, crowded airports, and holiday parties, it can be difficult to keep track of your little ones in the crowd. These tips will help parents ensure that their children, stay protected and enjoy a healthy holiday season.
Talk to your kids before embarking on a family outing. Make a rule that you must always be able to see them and they must always be able to see you. It may sound simple, but keep reminding them periodically especially if you think they are getting restless.
Teach your kids that if they ever become separated from you, they should look for a mom with kids or a police officer and state what happened. With older children, agree on a meeting place ahead of time in case you become separated. Make sure your children know your mobile phone number off hand and can call in case of an emergency.
Dress your child in brightly coloured clothes to make him easy to be spotted. Be sure to remember what they are wearing.
In busy places like airports or shopping malls, consider using a cute harness for toddlers who are prone to running off. There are lots of fun ones out there that look like a lion’s tail or an elephant’s trunk. Your child’s safety is most important.
Establish the check first rule with older children. They must always check first with you before going anywhere in a public place, including another store, play area, or even the restroom.
Don’t treat public facilities as a convenient babysitter. Do not leave your children alone at movie theatres, play areas, or other public places. Predators are known to look for unsupervised kids.
If you feel comfortable letting your older child use the men’s room alone, stand outside the door and call in as your child enters, “I’m right out here if you need me.” It’s a clear signal to anyone who may be hanging around in there that there’s a parent close by.
Your child is less of a target if a potential predator thinks there’s a chance he could be caught. If you think your child’s taking too long, open the door and call in, “Is everything okay?” If you don’t get an answer or are unsure, enter the restroom immediately to be sure your child is safe. Informing your child that you will be doing this will encourage him to answer you quickly and not linger.
Discuss age-appropriate safety issues with your children in a non-fearful manner. Replace the word strangers with tricky people. Let your child know that it isn’t what people look like that makes them unsafe; it’s what they ask a child to do that makes them bad.