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Keeping Your Children Safe While Shopping

With toddlers in tow, a short trip to the store can be overwhelming. Protect your children from predators and injuries by checking these items off your list on your next trip to the supermarket or mall.

At the Grocery

  • Choose supermarket shopping carts designed for children; carts that are more stable and lower to the ground are less likely to tip over and injure your child.
  • Make sure any child placed in a shopping cart remains firmly seated, and strap the child in using the cart's buckle. Do not allow older children to ride on the outside of the cart by clinging to its sides.
  • Give young children a grocery list with pictures of recognizable items they can pick out as they follow you. This will keep them entertained and close by. 

At the Mall

  • Consider the presence of security service personnel at your chosen mall. Reputable security companies train security officers to take swift action in the event a child goes missing.
  • Require older children to check in with you often—in person—if you allow them to explore the mall while you shop. Teach your child to seek out security officers or law enforcement personnel in the event they cannot find you.
  • Consider hiring a babysitter when you have a lot of shopping to do, especially during peak shopping times like weekends and holidays. Crowds, stress, and fatigue may make supervision more difficult.

In the Parking Lot

  • Make a habit of checking the front and back of your vehicle each time you exit, even when you are not traveling with your children. Putting this routine in place will help you remember to do it even when you are on an unusual schedule or in a rush.
  • Place your purse, briefcase, or other necessary items by the child's car seat, and put the diaper bag next to you in the front seat as a visual cue to remove your child before exiting.
  • Never leave your child in the car for any amount of time, even if the windows are down. Because temperatures can skyrocket within minutes of shutting off your car, a quick stop for you could just as quickly harm your child; for example, on a 72⁰ F day, the temperature inside a car could increase by 30 degrees within just 30 minutes.
  • Call 9-1-1 or alert on-site security services any time you spot an unattended child in a car.

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