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“The unfortunate reality is that we live in a country that is affected by crime. However, you don’t need to be a statistic. Simple changes in daily routines or trips to the store can increase your safety and potentially save your life,” explains Bouwer.
Here are six festive season safety tips that you can implement to keep you and your family safe this Christmas.
Stay ALERT! With this festive season we can expect an increase in the use of our cell phones, as we conveniently reconnect with old friends and family to wish them well. However, as useful as your cell phone may be, it can also be one of your biggest distractions. Keeping busy on your phone unintentionally pulls your attention away from your children and possible attackers, which may view you and your phone as an easy target.
Our innovative safety tip: Avoid checking your phone in crowded public places. Ladies, put your phone in your bag and tucked away securely under your arm. Gentlemen, store your phone in your front pocket to deter pick pockets. Parents, keep a vigilant eye on your children at all times and avoid taking calls or checking your phone when walking to your vehicle or away from it.
Be THAT parent! As modern parents our approach to child care may differ from that of our parents, as it should. Times have changed and where our children are no longer exposed to the risks we were, they unfortunately face other dangers. NEVER leave your children unattended, not even to go to the bathroom.
Our innovative safety tip: When taking your child to use a public restroom, wait for them at the wash basin while they are in the cubicle or go in with them. Either keep your child in front of you or keep your hand on them when turning your back to grab something off the shelf in the supermarket.
Get active! This time of the year is excessively busy and we understand how exhausting a day of Christmas shopping can be. Taking the lift when moving from one floor to the next at your local mall would seem like the most obvious and convenient choice. However, a lift is a small and confined space which makes it difficult to run, scream for help or fight your way out from an attacker.
Our innovative safety tip: Take the stairs. In the event that you are attacked, you stand a better chance of escaping by running either up or down the stairs. In addition, people are far more likely to hear you call for help.
Be prepared! Carry pepper spray on you at all times. You don’t need any martial arts training to use pepper spray, just point it in the direction of your assailant and spray. By using a pepper spray in a self-defence situation, the spray can be effective from a couple of meters away..
Stay vigilant! Criminals tend to strike when you are most vulnerable. As scary as it may be, the reality is that we expose ourselves to potential attackers simply because we aren’t vigilant enough. We lead very busy lives and when we are rushing from one place to another, we neglect to take 30 seconds to check our surroundings when entering and exiting our vehicles, but those few seconds could change the rest of your life forever.
Our innovative safety tip: Always check your surroundings. Take the extra few seconds to inspect your vehicle as you approach it. Look out for any suspicious people lurking around. It is easy for a potential attacker to hide near or in your vehicle so when possible try to walk around your car from a safe distance to ensure your safety.
Think about it! During hi-jackings, more often than you would think, the perpetrators make off with the vehicle and the victim’s child is still strapped into the car seat because the distraught driver couldn’t make it to the other side of the car fast enough.
Our innovative safety tip: If you are the only adult in the car with your child, place the child directly behind you on the back seat. When the driver is pulled from a car in a high jacking you are pulled out on the driver’s side of the car. Because you placed the car seat behind you, your child will now be on the same side of the car improving your chances of getting your child out of the vehicle.