It’s so hard keeping your kids safe around the clock, and when we inevitably have to take them out in public places, we just dread the task. Yet, we can’t hole up at home either when there are errands to run or the kids just go stir-crazy at home. So, how do we address one of the greatest fears of a parent- keeping your child safe in crowded public places? Whether it’s to keep them safe from strangers or simply to keep them from getting separated from you, you and your kids should be prepared to prevent any distress. We have consulted and researched and brought you some valuable tips that can help you keep your little ones safe.
Be Observant of your Surroundings
“The most important thing is to be observant and aware of your surroundings. You don’t need to live in fear, just watchful and cautious. Often if people are looking at you with suspicion when you’re out running errands or going for a walk, it’s because they’ve noticed something they find concerning the area. Trust your intuition, pay attention to things that seem suspicious, and always stay informed about what’s happening around you by reading new stories on the news or subscribing to a local newsletter. Know where the emergency exits are and have your car keys in hand before facing any situation where there may be unrest. In addition, to make sure your children are safe in public places, be mindful of the following precautions: Do not allow them to leave your site without telling you first. Call or text if they’re going to a place where you can’t go. Watch what they’re doing online and avoid sites that could lead to inappropriate contacts. Block time on their phone, computer, tablet as needed. Teach them how to say no by giving up some of their things for a while so they know it’s okay when someone says no also. Enlist an adult family member or friend so kids have company in sketchy situations.”
Sarah Walker, Founder of Dog Food Desire
Keep your Kids Close
“The best way to keep your child safe while in the wide-open spaces of a store, mall, or open-air market is very simple.keep them with you at all times and never let them wander off for any reason. Keep one hand on them at all times, or if necessary if they don’t listen well, a harness. That sounds primitive and I’m not exactly liking it myself, but many children have a wanderlust about them when it comes to stores, and can wander off to investigate the smallest of curiosities. Even a small animal such as a puppy or kitten can take them away from you. If you are paying more attention to the clothes on the rack or the merchandise on the shelves, it’s very easy to lose concentration of them, and then inevitably track, of where they are off too. Many times, it may be simply to play a trick on you or play hide-&-seek under the garments. But many times, a stranger will offer to take them back to mommy or daddy.”
Robert Sollars is a Security Consultant and Owner of Sollars Violence Prevention Training & Consulting
Teach Your Kids on What to do
“Have open, honest talks with your kids about safety and what to do or not to do when in public. Tell them how important it is to stay with a parent or guardian, and who to trust if they do lose the parent or guardian. Go over why holding a parents hand when crossing the street is important, who to go to if you do get lost, and what to do if they end up in a bad scenario. Having those talks is crucial.”
Bari Medgaus is the COO of Stabili-Teeth™ and also runs Model B Entertainment.
Have Security Measures in Place with Your Kids
“In public places, it is easy to lose track of children as they are often running and hoping around. As a parent, you need to take certain measures in ensuring their safety. Always get your kids to memorize your phone number and address so that when stranded, they can get home safely to you. Also, make sure you teach them the difference between good touch and bad touch so that that they are not fooled by people. They should know it’s okay to be rude or blunt to grownups if it means protecting themselves. Teach them never to accept treats from strangers or any promises to get surprise hampers etc. Teach them early on that there is no free meal in this world and if someone is providing them such things, there is a (bad) motive behind it. Before entering a densely populated place, decide a particular spot for meeting if you both are separated by any chance. Lastly, make sure you have a transparent relationship with your children so that they are comfortable in speaking of anything that bothers them. It is also a wise idea to take a picture of your child when you’re going out. This will ensure that you have their latest picture and can remember what clothes they are wearing.”
Rahil Chaudhary, the Managing Director at Eye7 Hospitals
Stressful as it may seem, with some caution and management, you can fall into a time-honored technique that can keep your little ones safe in public places and provide some peace of mind for you.