3 Tips for Child Safety in Public Spaces

Mankoana Nhlebela

Safety First

I love outings with my kids but I have to admit I often think twice about child safety when I have to step out with them, especially in busy public spaces.

With so many shocking headlines and statistics about missing kids, it’s hard not to worry about the reality that so many parents are faced with when it comes to child safety.

Disappearing Act

The level of distress that comes in an instant at the moment your child suddenly wanders off in is indescribable. I experienced one of these horrific moments in a shop once with my toddler. You can be the most attentive parent but varying circumstances can make it hard for you to keep track of your little one, especially if they suddenly pull away.

Stranger Danger

Educating our kids, about the realities of the world we live in, is important. With that said, it’s also not that simple trying to teach the concept of ‘stranger danger’ to kids, especially toddlers. They suddenly see you talking to someone they don’t know and they call you out, in front of them, for talking to strangers. It can really get complicated.

Peace of Mind

I quickly realised that I can’t forever live in the confinements of fear each time I’d like to take my kids with me. So, I needed something more than just a hand holding, or shouting at them each time they’re about to wander off. I needed some peace of mind.

Here are some options to support child safety in public outings; whether at a busy mall, crowded airport or family outing.

  1. Toddler Harness

It must be the most confusing for our kids. We take them out to public spaces, filled with so much to explore. But then, in the same breath, tell them not to go here and there, when all they want to do is explore.

I appreciate the balance the harness brings for both parents and kids. I can get peace of mind as they wander off slightly to look at something, but knowing that I am still in control. They also get the sense that they are free to explore.

I must admit though, that I do get some interesting stares and questions as I’m walking in malls, my daughter and I strapped to the harness. I was supposedly also a wanderer as a toddler, and my grandparents had me on a harness. I can pretty much say I turned out just fine.

Importantly, I know the scare of thinking you’ve lost your child. Your kids’ safety is all that should matter, so make the choices that feel right for you.

If you opt for a harness, you can consider a wrist harness, available from Baby Boom and Takealot.com. You can also opt for a waist harness available for purchase from Baby Boom.

www.takealot.com
Mankoana Nhlebela

2. Kids Watch Trackers

Wearable technology is definitely on the rise. I love the versatility of the kids’ tracking watches. They are a great accessory for kids, but also allow you to track the whereabouts of your child, should the need arise.

www.loot.co.za
  1. Keep Company

It’s true what they say, there’s safety in numbers. So, where possible take another adult along or even an older child.

It’s easy to get distracted especially in busy places. At least if this should happen you will have an extra pair of eyes to make sure your kids don’t wander off in that split second.

Fear Not

Continue to harness your child’s skills on discerning danger and stay vigilant when you out in public. Ultimately, don’t live limited by fear but by all means, take the necessary steps to give you peace of mind.

Mankoana Nhlebela
Mankoana Nhlebela
Mankoana Nhlebela

Kids Editor

Mankoana Nhlebela is an Entrepreneur, Transformational Speaker and Mentor. With a creative flair, she’s the owner of UKARA, a fashion and lifestyle brand, and Co-Founder of Motherly Love Baby Shower, a non-profit organisation that aims to support underprivileged mothers-to-be. With a span of multiple roles, including a corporate job in Telecommunications, one of her favourites is that of parenting. As a mother of two, and a women empowerment enthusiast, she firmly believes in the power of affirmation and intentional parenting.

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