Missing in the Mall

    Keeping Children Safe While Holiday Shopping

    HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Nov. 8 /CNW/ -- Millions of shoppers are braving crowded
malls to scout out holiday bargains, oftentimes with children in tow. The
chaos can be distracting and kids can get separated from parents in a matter
of seconds.
    (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071108/NYFNSX03 )
    One safeguard families can use is the OnGuard Kids Personal Safety Alert
System (www.onguardkids.com), a wristwatch with a built-in 110-decibel alarm
that children can activate if they become lost or the victim of an attempted
    Debra Holtzman, child safety expert and author of The Safe Baby, says
shopping safety starts with an overall plan before you leave for the malls.
"Discussing ground rules and tactics with family members will make a
difference in the actions of both children and adults," says Holtzman.
    Here are more tips from Holtzman to keep kids safe, and the entire family
alert this holiday shopping season:

    -- Keep your children in sight. Kids can become distracted by everything
       from toys displayed in store windows, to holiday mall decorations.  If
       children wander even a few feet from you, they can easily disappear
       into a crowd.

    -- Establish a plan.  Before heading to the mall, talk to your children
       about what steps to take if they become separated from you. Decide if
       they will remain in one place until you return, notify mall security or
       sound an alarm to signal their whereabouts.

    -- Supply identification. Prior to leaving the house, tuck your home and
       cell phone numbers inside your children's pockets.  A distraught child
       might not be able to recall and articulate important information while
       in a stressful situation.

    -- Set check-in times.  If your children are old enough to shop on their
       own during a family mall outing, make sure they wear a watch and
       arrange frequent check-ins with you or each other.  Teach the
       importance of being on time.

    -- Keep everyone unplugged.  Don't let kids listen to their headphones or
       play hand-held videogames while walking with you. It is a sure way for
       them to get separated from the family.  Parents should use cell phones
       only to keep track of family members and not for lengthy conversations.
       Keeping everyone alert will make shopping safe and enjoyable.

For further information:

For further information: Lauri Aibel, +1-212-677-8700 ext. 24, 
lauri@schwartzpr.com, for Concord Web Site: http://www.onguardkids.com

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