Pattie Fitzgerald is a certified child safety educator, advocate, and founder of Safely Ever After. Here are a few of her easy-to-follow rules for keeping your child safe this holiday season. First, teach your children to follow the 3 giant steps rule. Teach them that they can only be 3 giant steps away from mom or dad at all times. It’s a fun way to get the kids stay close by. Second, teach them to look for a safe stranger who can help them if they do get separated from you. Another mother with children or a store employee are safe strangers who can help your children reunite with you. Third, remind your children to never leave the mall or store to go looking for you in the parking lot. Tell them that you will never go outside or leave until you are reunited. Fourth, dress your children in brightly colored clothing to help keep them easily visible, and be sure to remember what they are wearing. Fifth, teach your children the check first rule. Kids must always check with you first before going anywhere in a public place, including another store, play area, or the restroom. And finally, teach your child your cell phone number and, if necessary, write it on a slip of paper that you can tuck into the pocket of your younger child.
For more helpful suggestions on how to keep your children safe, please visit Safely Ever After.