Creative Child

Keeping Kids Safe in Crowded Places

by Sarah Lyons

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Safe people

Let your child know that if they are lost they can find a “safe person” to ask for help. This could be anyone in a uniform (police officer, fire fighter, security guard, or store employee) or it could be another mom with kids. You can let them know that they can identify a mom because she has a stroller, many kids with her, or is carrying a baby.

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Take precautions that day

When you set out for the day, take a picture of your child. Not only will this be a nice memory, it will give you a photo of what your child is wearing that day. If your child does get lost, you will not need to remember what they are wearing or look for a current photo and you will already have one ready. It’s also wise to talk to your kids about where you would meet if you were separated. Pick a spot that is easy to find, centralized, and unique such as a statue, fountain, tower, or flagpole.

Keep them contained

The easiest way to keep kids from wandering off is to have them ride in a stroller, cart, or wagon. This may not work for every child. Some kids resist strollers and will do almost anything to escape. For kids that are resistant to riding in a stroller or are too old, have them hold your hand or the side of the cart. Some parents may also find a backpack harness works best for their child because it keeps them close without relying on them to hold a hand. When I had a lot of small children I used a walking rope that had several handles my kids could hold and walk along with me. You can also have older children hold hands with younger children. Any tool that keeps your child safe and close to you in a crowded place is worth trying.

Taking your kids to crowded public places can be stressful, especially if you are outnumbered, but you shouldn’t let it stop you from enjoying fun outings with your kids. With a little preparation and some conversations with your kids, you should be able to enjoy outings and be safe too.

 

Sidebar:

Books About Safety and Strangers

 

Once Upon a Dragon: Stranger Safety for Kids (and Dragons) by Jean E. Pendziwol

I Won’t Go with Strangers by Dagmar Geisler

Not Everyone is Nice: Helping Children Learn Caution with Strangers by Frederick Alimonti

What Should Danny Do? (The Power to Choose Series) by Adir Levy and Ganit Levy

Never Talk to Strangers by Irma Joyce

Sarah Lyons is a stay at home wife and mother of six children, including 18 month old triplets. Using creative consequences with her kids has improved their behavior and encourages healthy relationships with each other.

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