It’s that time of year again… parents everywhere are smack-dab in the middle of the annual holiday shopping blitz and travel craze!
And with the stress of running from store to store or from airport to car rental agency, how do we keep an eye on our kids, packages, luggage, and assorted holiday paraphernalia all at the same time?
Of course, nothing beats plain old-fashioned, hand-holding supervision.
But let’s face it, it’s not always that easy. When was the last time your toddler let you calmly drag them by the hand through boring, mundane tasks without whining, squirming, or even making a run-for-it the minute something interesting catches their eye?
Here are some simple tips for parents and kids of all ages for this hectic time of year. And remember… there’s no need to make our kids fearful about personal safety, and parents shouldn’t become paranoid. Just empower your family with some good, common sense safety awareness and enjoy the season!!
Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
1. Talk to your kids before the outing. The rule is that YOU must always be able to SEE THEM and they must always be able to SEE YOU. Sounds simple, but keep reminding them periodically, especially if you think they’re getting restless.
2. Play the THREE GIANTS STEPS RULE. Kids should never be more than 3 giant steps away from you. If you make safety “fun”, kids are more likely not to stray.
3. If children do become separated from you, they can ask : A Mom With Kids or the Cash Register Person for help.
4. Children must know that they should NEVER leave the mall or store to go looking for you in the parking lot, no matter what anyone tells them. Remind your child that you would never leave until you are reunited.
5. Dress children in brightly colored clothes to help keep them easily visible, and be sure to remember what they are wearing.
6. 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 elephant’s trunk.
7. Teach all children the “CHECK FIRST” rule. Kids must always check first with you before going anywhere in a public place, including another store, play area, or even the restroom.
8. Don’t leave unsupervised children alone in the car or at public facilities such as video arcades, movie theaters, play areas, etc. as a “convenient babysitter”.
9. Replace the word “strangers” with “tricky people!” Let them know that it isn’t what a person looks like that makes them unsafe, it’s what they ask a child to do that makes someone “thumbs down”. Kids have been known to leave with a stranger because “he seemed nice” or “he didn’t look like a stranger.”
10. Holiday Party Tip: Keep an eye on beverage glasses containing alcohol or other adult drinks. Small children can innocently ingest a harmful drink that looks like soda or juice.
11. All children should know their parents’ cell phone number.