Make safety a part of your family’s holiday tradition with these helpful tips.
Shopping and large crowds
- Accompany young children to the restroom while shopping.
- Teach your older children to check first if they are going to another part of the store, and use the buddy system.
- When going to holiday events, shopping malls or other events with large crowds, talk to your children about what to do if they get lost. Older kids can have a designated spot to meet if you get separated. In a store, the cash register may be one good place.
- If you cannot find your child, inform store employees right away; stores often have internal procedures for recovering lost children.
- Children should be told to stay very close to where they last saw their caregiver and not to leave with anyone. You can also tell your child to look for someone who can help them – a mother with children would be one good choice.
Internet and cell phones
- When kids are spending more time at home on holiday break, remind them of your family’s rules for online and cell phone safety.
- Children and teens should be told that if they are sent something or see something that makes them feel uncomfortable or scared to come and talk to a trusted adult about it. Reinforce that they won’t be in trouble, but that you want to help them use technology in a safe way.
- Gift giving is part of the season, so it is a great time to remind your children to check first before accepting gifts from others.
- Be aware of the technological capabilities of the gadgets you put under the tree. Many newer gaming consoles are equipped with Internet browsers and chat features that allow players to communicate with each other. Establish clear rules for these features.
- The holidays can be a happy time, but may also bring stress. Remember, it is normal to feel overwhelmed with obligations, so take a break if you feel yourself losing control of your emotions.
- Ask your partner, another family member or trusted friend for support in order to have some needed self-care time. It is okay to ask for help.