6 Ways to keep children safe while in the mall
There’s no other culture that goes to the mall in droves more than Filipinos—we’re probably the only people that uses the word “malling” as a verb, and constantly, at that. Keep your kids safe from the different things that they can encounter while being out and about.
Carry them when in a parking lot. Drivers oftentimes will not see small kids walking behind their car while they’re backing up or driving. Assume that that’s the case and carry your small children when in the parking lot, even if the car’s just a few steps or feet away. Stay a foot or so away from other cars, and look left and right before crossing to get to your car or to the mall.
Keep them within eyesight and reach at all times. A few seconds is all it takes for someone to grab your child and take them away, or for your child to be chatted up or lured in by a stranger with toys or candy. Even if you literally keep them on a leash, it’s far too easy to cut the strap without you noticing it. Don’t hope for your reflexes and survival skills to just kick in if you literally see someone grabbing your child; always have them within arm’s length.
Be clear who’s responsible for whom. Thinking that your child was being looked after by the yaya, your husband, partner, or older sibling without explicitly telling them will be a 50/50 chance of your child getting lost. Tell your child to stick to an adult or their sibling, and tell the person looking out for them to keep their eyes on them like a hawk.
Continue reading for more tips on how to keep your kids safe at all times in the mall…
Bring them to the bathroom stall with you. Cases have been reported of children being taken while in the bathroom, due to the caregiver being inside a separate stall or in the opposite gender’s bathroom. Err on the side of caution and go to the same stall and take turns, if need be, so that you can keep on eye on them all the time.
Be aware of your surroundings. Malls aren’t baby-proofed, so you have to take it upon yourself to find spots or places that are, or to protect your child from glass, sharp or pointy corners (just like what happened to this child who hit her eye on a clothes rack), getting caught in between elevator doors, or wandering over to the escalators. There are a ton of things that curious little hands can grab in a matter of milliseconds, so always be aware of what’s within your child’s reach.
Disinfect what you can. Do you think supermarkets clean those grocery carts, or restaurants wipe down their high chairs? Not likely. Give it a quick cleaning with alcohol or moist tissue before your child comes into contact with any of these.
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