With the Holiday Season just around the corner, many families are busy making their shopping lists and making sure they buy the perfect gifts and not forgetting anyone. As most malls are crowded with Holiday shoppers at this time of the year,
we recommend leaving your child at home with someone you trust. However, if your child accompanies you to the mall, we remind you to reinforce the following safety rules during this hectic time of the year:

  • Upon arriving at the mall, identify with your child all the people and places where he can seek help if needed (customer service, information booth, security officer, store staff);
  • Remind your child that he must stay within sight at all times;
  • Make a plan in case you become separated. Have older kids meet you at a pre-designated spot or teach younger children to look for people who can help them within the mall, such as a uniformed security officer or a salesperson with a nametag;
  • Tell your child to NEVER leave the mall / store without you;
  • Never allow younger children to shop on their own to purchase surprise gifts for friends or family members;
  • Carry a recent photo of your child; it will prove to be a valuable tool in the event that you are separated;
  • Always accompany younger children to any public restroom;
  • Never leave your children alone in a public place such as a toy store, video arcade, movie theatre or playground, expecting store personnel to supervise them. This is not their role and they are not trained in this area.

What Can You Do if You See a Child Who Appears Lost?

A missing child is everyone’s responsibility. The Missing Children’s Network encourages the public to always be alert and report any suspicious situations to the proper authorities. If you ever spot a child who appears lost, we encourage you to:

  • Not be afraid and get involved
  • Comfort the child
  • Ask if he is lost and needs help
  • Keep the child within eyesight, enlist the help of passer-byS in order to request the assistance of a store clerk employee
  • Do not remove the child from the immediate location and never drive away with the child in order to seek help
  • Wait with the child until the proper help arrives