As the famous song goes, “it’s the MOST wonderful time of the year”! Yes, the holidays are in full swing. There will be lots of traveling, shopping and holiday attractions from now until the New Year. Tis the season to celebrate with family and friends, but also a time to be vigilant with your children. Crowded and frenzied malls, airports and attractions are filled with dangers and strangers.
To help you stay sane and keep your children out of harm’s way, follow these simple yet safe tips to have a holly jolly holiday season this year!
- Speak with your children before an outing and remind them that you must always be in their sight and vice versa.
- To keep children from wandering, use the “three giant steps” rule, meaning they can’t be more than three giant steps away from you at all times.
- Identify a meeting place and teach children how to recognize “safe strangers” such as policemen, firemen, store employees, etc. in case you do get separated.
- Dress your children in bright colored clothing that makes them easy to locate when in large crowds.
- In crowded and busy places, consider using a safety harness with a leash for toddlers that are quick on their feet.
- Remember to supervise your children when attending holiday parties. It is important to note that typical childproofing measures may not be in place at other residences, including dangers such as pools, fireplaces, guns, prescription and over the counter medicines, poisons, etc.
- Make certain older children know and can recite your cell phone number. You can even order temporary tattoos to put on younger children’s hands/wrist with identifying information in case your child gets lost.
- Always take young children into the restroom with you and stand outside the door of the restroom if you allow your older children to go unaccompanied.
- Child predators are known to look for unsupervised kids, so always supervise children at public facilities such as movie theaters, video arcades, parks and play areas.
- Be sure and discuss age appropriate safety issues with your children as it relates to strangers.
Talk with your children about safety. Set rules and guidelines and take the extra precautions to keep them safe this holiday season. Having a simple plan to follow will make the holidays a little more stress free for everyone.