Possibly one of the most challenging events of the holiday season is shopping. People tend to spend more money than they think they should and spend more time than they have to spare finding that special gift. The following tips may help make your holiday shopping less tense and a happier, safer experience. 

  • Protect yourself from becoming a victim of crime. Stay alert at all times and pay attention to your surroundings. When you are parking, always select a spot in a well-lit area away from bushes or other places where an individual could hid. Be especially careful when you park in parking ramps and underground garages. Be sure all of your car doors are locked and your windows rolled up when you leave your vehicle. Lock your packages in the trunk or cover them so they are out of site in your vehicle. When you are returning to your vehicle, make sure you are not overloaded with packages. Have your car keys in your hand so you can unlock your door and get into your vehicle quickly. 
  • Be careful when crossing streets and parking lot drives.  Where possible, cross the street or parking lot drives at designated crosswalks. Before you step off the curb, make sure approaching vehicles have come to a complete stop.
  • Keep close track of your children while shopping. Instruct your children to go to a store clerk or security guard if they get separated from you. Make sure they know their first and last name so they can tell someone who they are. It is best to keep children under 4 in a stroller. Children in shopping carts should be properly belted and seated in the child carrier area. Never let your child stand in or push a shopping cart. If possible, leave your children with a babysitter while you are shopping. 
  • Be careful when riding on escalators. Make sure any loose shoe laces, drawstrings, scarves, or mittens that could get trapped in the escalator are secured prior to getting on the escalator. When you get on an escalator, hold onto your child's hand, face forward, and keep your feet away from the edge of the steps. Never bring strollers, carts, or walkers on an escalator. Use the elevator instead. 
  • Be sure to keep track of your purse or wallet. Make sure you put any change you receive from a purchase back in your purse or wallet, and make sure your credit cards are returned. 
  • If you do encounter a problem, find a security guard or police officer to assist you. If you are in an emergency situation, call 911 immediately.

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