Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How Parents Can Keep Children Safe While Shopping and Traveling this Holiday Season:


How Parents Can Keep Children Safe While Shopping and Traveling this Holiday Season




LEARN MORE

Know the Rules...Holiday Safety Tips

Know the Rules...When Your Child Is Flying Unaccompanied

Know the Rules...When Your Child Is Traveling Unaccompanied by Bus or Train
"The Mentalist" Actor Tim Kang Tells Parents What To Do and What Not To Do
Parents need to be careful not to let their guard down or become distracted while traveling or attending public functions during the 2011 holiday season. Tim Kang, actor from the hit CBS show The Mentalist has partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to help educate parents about what they should be telling their children to keep them safe while shopping and traveling this holiday season.

Parents need to talk with children about safety before heading out to a busy shopping mall or boarding a plane, train, or bus this holiday season. Crowds are greater this time of year and children may easily become separated from their parents, causing confusion and fear. If that should happen, parents need a plan and children should know what to do.

"Unfortunately many adults and children don’t know what to do if they lose each other in a public place or are faced with other unsafe situations," said actor Tim Kang. "That’s why the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is offering advice on how to remain safe and avoid panic and potential dangers."

ALWAYS

  • Keep children with you at all times while shopping.

  • Accompany and supervise children in public facilities, including restrooms.

  • Have a plan in case you become separated, including a pre-designated spot to meet.

  • Teach children to look for people who can help, such as a uniformed security officer, salesperson or mother with children.

  • Remind children to remain in the area where they become separated.
NEVER
  • Dress children in clothing that displays their first or last names, prompting unwelcome attention from people looking for an opportunity to start a conversation with your child.

  • Leave children in toy stores or public facilities expecting supervision from store personnel.

  • Go shopping or attend a public event with a child if you feel you’re going to be distracted. Make other arrangements for child care ahead of time.

  • Allow younger children to shop on their own to purchase surprise gifts for friends or family members.

  • Drop off older children at a mall or public place without agreeing on a clear plan for picking them up, including: where, what time, and what to do in case of a change in plans.
If your child is flying or riding a train or bus alone this holiday season, NCMEC urges parents to remember the following travel safety tips:
  • When you make reservations for your child, specify that the child will be traveling alone.

  • Whenever possible, book a non-stop flight or direct route. Avoid booking the last flight of the day.

  • Plan to visit the airport, train or bus terminal prior to departure. Let your child know what to expect, so the experience will not be so intimidating.

  • In case of delay or cancellation, remain at the station or gate until the train, plane or bus departs.

  • Make sure children travel with proper identification and parents or guardian contact information.

  • Always have a back-up plan for the person or people meeting the plane at the destination, in case they are delayed.

  • Encourage children not to become too friendly with other passengers or to reveal any personal information.

Safety tips adapted from Know the Rules…Safety Tips For the Holidays, Know the Rules...When Your Child Is Flying Unaccompanied, and Know the Rules...When Your Child is Traveling Unaccompanied by Bus or Train. Copyright © respectively 1991, 2000, and 2011 National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). All rights reserved.

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