Schools will be letting our kids out soon for the summer, so it’s essential to equip them with security tips to keep everyone safe. These tips are meant to protect the children in the family, and as parents, we need to teach them what they can do.
Malls and shopping centers are a haven for losing track of your children. It’s easy to lose sight of them when they’re off exploring with their friends, but there are plenty of ways to keep your family safe at these kinds of places.
A mall is a collection of different types of people. Even though it can be a great place to people-watch, it can be an opportunity for criminals because of the lack of shoppers paying attention.
Most people are shopping, going to their favorite store, or walking for exercise. We need to teach our children to be aware of the dangers surrounding them every day and how to avoid them.
Our children must be aware of the danger they could face when they go to the mall.
One news item that’s been on the news over the last few months is predators attempting to abduct children around our Bronx communities.
Predators may approach a potential victim for help or directions. A child should know that an adult would never ask a child for directions. A child should also know not to give directions to adults.
If a stranger approaches and wants help finding something, they will usually ask for help from a security guard or police officer. They will never ask a child who is not accompanied by an adult for assistance. A stranger may carry around a map of the store with them to seem more credible as well.
It’s human nature to want to help someone in need, but children should know that they need to redirect adults to other adults and let you, the parent, know when something like this happens if they’re not beside you at that moment.
You should not let your guard down in malls, parks, playgrounds, and other places that children frequent. Predators can target them in these places, even during the day.
When visiting a major shopping center, family members must practice basic safety precautions.
Be alert and know what is going on around you. Be mindful of the activities your children are engaged in when you’re visiting stores or other venues. Keep your phone out of sight and refrain from getting preoccupied.
If you were separated from your child, would your child know how to ask for help? Your child would probably think about it, but might not know how to ask a stranger.
We need to teach them what to look for when seeking help from an adult. Children should be taught to look for a family or mother with children and ask them for assistance if there’s a separation.
“It’s important to know which people and places are safe at a mall. You can find this out by looking for security guards, police officers, or the information desk. Encourage children to go to a store clerk or security guard if they lose track of parents.” says a Bronx security company, Building Security Services.
Here are a few more quick tips for children, teens, and parents to increase awareness around safety:
- Don’t let your kids go into bathrooms alone.
- Teach your child to stay close to you when out and about in public areas
- Don’t allow anyone to ask your children anything without a parent or responsible adult present. Ensure your child understands that you need to be present if another adult they don’t know asks them anything.
- Your child should know vital information to identify them in case of a separation. They should know both their first and last name as well as yours. Teaching them your cell phone number is essential as well.
- Have a recent photo of your child, even if it’s on your cell phone.
- When going to the restroom, don’t go by yourself. Make a friend tag along.
- Please encourage your child not to have headphones on when shopping as they can be too distracting.
- If paying with cash, be sure to get money out before going to the mall. Avoid ATMs there. Don’t be flashy and make how much cash you have known.
- Dress appropriately.
- Ensure your cell is fully charged and know where the information desks are if you ever need help.
- They should never be leaving with any stranger. Even if it’s a parent of a friend. If you don’t know about it, let them know that no one is to take them, and you will be picking them up.
- Know what crime is happening in your area and how the police are responding. Help your child become aware of potential dangers.
- Don’t return to your car if you think someone may be following you. Go back to a public area and call the police or inform a security guard.
- Report any suspicious activity or behavior from people. This can make a significant impact.
- Be sure to check around your car when you return and make sure it was locked. If it wasn’t, thoroughly inspect your car before getting in.
- If you feel someone may threaten you, use your car alarm. The loud noise will draw attention and hopefully buy your family enough time to get inside safely.
By knowing and teaching your children these safety tips, you’re not just protecting your children from potential harm, but you’re also teaching them the importance of safety in everyday life.
Child safety doesn’t have to be scary or a complicated topic. By working together as a family through education, you can create a safe, happy environment for your child at all times whether you’re present or not.