Child Safety Series Part 2: Keeping Children Safe in Public During the Holidays
As the holiday season accelerates into full swing, one of the most daunting obstacles you can face as a parent is managing your children in public. Whether you’re braving the crowded wings of the mall or reluctantly bringing your child to the annual holiday party, you need a safety plan.
5 Ways to Keep Your Child Safe in Public This Holiday Season
That “plan” is the focus of Part 2 of the Child Safety Series from the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood. To help you keep your child safe in public this holiday season, we’ve provided this 5-fold plan that covers all the basics. So if the babysitter backup plan falls through, don’t stress! Simply reference our safety plan below for a safe, (somewhat) stress-free holiday outing with your kid(s)!
1. Finally heading out the door? Give your child a pre-game pep talk.
The holidays are just as overwhelming for your child as they are for you. There are even more toys, attractions and people than usual. So before you head to the mall or the big holiday party with your child, sit them down and lay some ground rules. Tell them what to do if you get separated. Tell them who they should and should not talk to. Explain that you must be able to see them at all times. Be clear, assertive and confident. This will establish a logical and impactful set of guidelines that your child is more likely to obey.
2. Gotta go? Bring your child to the restroom with you.
When in public – i.e. at the mall and other department stores – it’s a no-brainer to bring your child with you when you use the restroom. The alternative is leaving them alone outside the bathroom to wait until you are finished – and that’s a huge no-no – especially during the holidays. If you have a slightly older child who needs to use the restroom, simply wait outside. Be sure to watch every single person who comes out of the bathroom until your child is finished.
3. In a group? Communicate with other adults.
If you’re out with a group of adults, have a system in place to put your eyes together and have each other’s backs. Always establish which adult is watching which child, and communicate with one another if that adult cannot watch a child for a particular period of time. This is a simple trick that puts even more trusted eyes on your kids.
4. At a party? Try the “2-Steps” rule.
Before you walk in the door, tell your child to never be more than “2 steps” away from you. This is an effective tool for safety in any public place, but it’s particularly effective at social gatherings as a fun way for your child to remember not to wander off and run the risk of damaging anything or being injured.
5. Need a drink? Wait.
This doesn’t just apply to the designated driver. Even if you aren’t driving home, go easy on the alcohol. Drinking can impair your awareness, reaction time and decision making ability – all of which are essential while supervising a child. So don’t over do it at the holiday get-together this year if your child is with you; you’ll be happy you waited.
The Law Office of D. Hardison Wood: We’ll fight to protect your child. Contact Us.
Our experienced attorneys put children above all else. That’s why Child Safety & Protection Month is so important to us. When a child is injured in any capacity, we take it personally, and we put our hearts and souls into the fight for justice. If you have or know of a child who has been injured, make your first call to the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood today.