Mall Holiday Safety
During the Holiday Season our minds are on all the parties, events and gifts we have to purchase for all our loved ones, friends and office mates. We are trying to think of what to buy for the party, what to wear for the event and what to buy someone for a gift. So much is going through our minds that by the time we think of safety its almost too late.
The malls are crowded with so many people and its hard for us to get around much less having our children with us. We race into stores, wait at registers, have our hands full and the stress of getting home on time or not letting our spouse, friend or child see what we are buying them. On top of this, are we thinking… where is my son or daughter? Did I leave my pocketbook, cell phone or credit card lying at the last cash register Did I lock my car? Did I leave things in view in the car, inviting a break-in?
The bad guys are lurking and waiting for someone to make a mistake. They are waiting for the person to put down a bag of gifts they have already purchased so they can quickly pick it up and walk. Some are waiting in line taking cell phone pictures of licenses, I.D.s and credit card numbers as they sit on the counter awaiting a clerk to swipe them. Outside in the parking lot, there are people standing around watching who is going from mall to store to put things in their car for storage until they make the next trip out bearing gifts. They know they have ample time from the time someone leaves their car to go back into the mall and when they return. Wow, perfect timing for a quick break-in.
This holiday season, be safe. Plan your trips, routes and teach your kids what to do should you separate.
Step one Make a plan to visit stores during times that are not overcrowded.
Step two Make sure that you teach your children that if they get lost in the mall, where to go and who to ask for help. Make sure they know never to go outside and look for you. You should go to the mall during the empty time and establish zones. If they get lost here, go here. If they get lost over there, go to this store. If you get lost in the store you are in, go to the sales person with a name tag or to the register and ask them to page your mom or dad.
There are many ways to teach your kids. A woman with children would be the best person to approach if you cannot find a worker or employee. If your kids are young, you might even want to get the GPS device you can put around their wrists and or have them put in their backpacks. This way if you get separated it will be easier to know where they are. The first step is to recognize that there is a potential threat and to plan for it.