Holiday Safety: Use extreme caution when shopping with kids
This is the second post in a series about keeping your family and possessions safe this holiday season.
By Lt. Craig Anderson, CSPD Public Information Officer
Stores and malls traditionally see their largest crowds during the holidays when much of the population is out searching for that perfect Christmas present.
It’s easy to lose track of essential items such as cell phones and car keys. But those things pale in comparison to what we hold dearest – our children. It’s easy for you and your kids to be distracted by all the sights, sounds, and crowds of holiday shopping, so make sure they stay with you at all times.
Nothing takes the place of your supervision when you are in a public place with your children. If you think you might be distracted when shopping, make other arrangements for your children’s care.
If your kids do tag along, keep these practical tips in mind:
Supervise your child and always accompany young children to the restroom. Make sure your kids know to stay with you and that they check with you or the adult in charge before going anywhere. Know where your children are and who they’re with at all times.
Never use video arcades, movie theaters, or playgrounds as babysitters, and don’t expect employees in toy or specialty stores to supervise and care for your children.
Practice safe shopping skills with your children. Teach them how to locate adult sources of help and checking with you before going anywhere in a store or mall.
Talk to your kids about what to do if you become separated. Designate a meeting place such as a store’s sales counter or the mall’s information booth. Teach younger children to look for uniformed security or police officers, salespeople with nametags, or people in information booths. Make sure your kids know never to leave the store or mall or go looking for you in the parking lot.
If you allow your older children to go to the mall or other activities without you, they should always take a friend and check in with you on a regular basis. Be sure to have a clear plan for picking them up — including place and time — and what to do if plans change.
Let’s work together to keep College Station a safe place to live, work and play by taking away opportunities for crime. The College Station Police Department wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season.
About the Blogger
Lt. Craig Anderson is in his 30th year with the College Station Police Department.
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