Safety Tips for shopping with Children
(1) The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) provides safety tips for shopping and traveling including the following:
- Keep children with you at all times while shopping.
- Accompany and supervise children in public facilities, including restrooms.
- Have a plan in case you become separated, including a pre-designated spot to meet.
- Teach children to look for people who can help, such as a uniformed security officer, salesperson or mother with children.
- Remind children to remain in the area where they become separated.
- Turn shopping trips into opportunities to practice safe shopping skills.
- Dress children in clothing that displays their first or last names, prompting unwelcome attention from people looking for an opportunity to start a conversation with your child.
- Leave children in toy stores or public facilities expecting supervision from store personnel.
- Go shopping or attend a public event with a child if you feel you’re going to be distracted. Make other arrangements for child care ahead of time.
- Allow younger children to shop on their own to purchase surprise gifts for friends or family members.
- Drop off older children at a mall or public place without agreeing on a clear plan for picking them up, including: where, what time, and what to do in case of a change in plans.
(2) HealthyChildren.org provides this list for Shopping and Cart Safety(pdf):
Instead of putting your child in a cart while you shop, try one of these safer ideas:
- Get another adult to come with you to watch your child while you shop
- Put your child in a stroller, wagon, or frontpack instead of in a shopping cart.
- Ask your older child to walk and praise him or her for behaving and staying near you.
- Leave your child at home with another adult while you shop.
- Shop online if your store offers shopping on the Internet.
If you decide to put your child in a shopping cart anyway, then follow these rules:
- Place your child in a safety belt or harness at all times when in a shopping cart.
- Never leave your child alone in a shopping cart.
- Do not let your child stand up in a shopping cart.
- Do not place an infant carrier on top of the shopping cart.
- Do not put your child in the basket.
- Never allow your child to ride on the outside of a cart. Do not allow an older child to climb on the cart or push the cart with another child in it, because it is very easy for a child to tip the cart over.
Some stores have taken steps to keep children safe. Try to shop at stores that do the following:
- Use carts with safer designs that allow children to ride closer to the ground (for example, in a small model car in front of the cart)
- Ensure that all carts have a child restraint in each seating location
- Offer a pick-up area or help you bring your purchases to your car so you can safely take your child through the parking lot without having to use the cart
- Have a supervised in-store play area for children.
(3) Take this Stranger Danger quiz to find out if your children know the ropes when it comes to strangers!!
(4) Learn more about Escalator Safety (audio) from HealthyChildren.org.
(5) Finally, is your car seat safe? Learn some tips about the types of seats, do a checkup on your seat, find out if the seat you are using is appropriate for your child, and lookup seats by product name…all from HeathyChildren.org!!
What are your safety tips for shopping with children?!!