Thinking of hitting those Sales with your little one? Check out these safety tips!

Kids hate shopping. They love escalators. They love exploring and they love running. A combination of these factors turned what was a routine shopping trip almost in to a nightmare when my 3 year old wandered off and I couldn’t find him for 3 minutes. I’m glad I remained reasonably calm and found him before too long but it got me thinking up some strategies to reign in the anxiety and call for right action, if need be. Here’s a bunch of things you can do to keep your sanity and your child safe –1. Team work – You need to shop. Your kid needs entertainment. Unless a significant other or a friend is with you and you can both watch the kid alternately, you can kiss your pre-baby days style shopping goodbye where the sole goal of the game was to find that cute dress in your size. Now it’s more of a mutual back scratching with a bundle of energy. Make a deal and stick to it. 20 minutes of shopping followed by a snacking break or a mall train ride, etc. Better still, do it with someone else.2. Safe spot – Decide on a safe spot somewhere easily identifiable where you pledge to meet in case you(God forbid!) get separated. The information desk is probably the safest spot. No one wants to experience that but it helps to know you’ve at least planted it in their head to go to a safe place to wait for you. Kids older than 8 can definitely make use of this instruction. Warn them about walking away with strangers of course. If your child does go missing, be sure to inform security immediately to make sure no kid walks out alone from the mall gates and show pictures of your child (your mobile will be really helpful here) to spread the word immediately. Check the closest food joints or toy stores – most likely places they’d have wandered off to.3. When in doubt, bring a stroller – My son has long outgrown strollers. And we’ve realized that in the event we take the stroller, one of us is running behind him and the other baby sitting the stroller. But if you think it’s going to be remotely useful, take it along, strap them in close to nap time and shop in peace. Better still, hire one of those fun contraptions that’s a shopping cart disguised like a toy car. That always works.4. Avoid large sales and crowds – In a lesson I’ve learned today, crowded places and finicky kids don’t go hand in hand. There’s a reason there are so few kids in the sales. They hate crowds. They’re best avoided to give you enough of a visual of your kid.5. Address Proof - Consider marking temporary tattoos on your child with your coordinates or placing a piece of paper with your address and phone number in their pockets.6. Spotify - Dress them in bright clothing that can be easily identified from a distance or is very distinguishable – e.g. Batman shirt or bright orange pants.The best case scenario is to never let your child out of sight. Sometimes when it does happen and if they go missing, these tips help with the next best thing you can do.