10 must-follow safety tips for shopping during the festive season

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but you shouldn’t let your guard down and become a victim of crime this festive season.

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The holiday season is filled with festive cheer, giving to others and time spent with those we hold dear.

But, it’s also a time when many of us find ourselves rushing around to buy last minute gifts and enjoying a quick coffee with a friend at the mall.

Here is some advice and tips to stay safe this festive season:

Parking

  • Always check that your car is locked before leaving it to guard against interference with your remote control through car-jamming devices.

Shopping with children

  • Point out security guards so your children know where to get help if they get lost.
  • Give your kids a book, toy or snack to keep them occupied when you have to wait in a line.

ALSO SEE: What to do when a child goes missing

Don’t forget your mask

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa eased some more restrcitions during his speech last night, but he reminded South Africans that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and called on the nation to keep on wearing their masks, to social distance and follow hygiene practices.

Escalator safety

  • Make sure your child doesn’t lean on the escalator handrail. The excess weight can slow the stairway down and throw passengers off balance.
  • Lift toddlers on and off the step – shoes and boots with soft rubber soles have been known to slip into cracks between steps and the escalator wall.

Restaurant safety

  • If you take a break to stop for a bite to eat or something to drink, DO NOT leave your shopping bags or your handbag on the floor or the chair behind you. Rather put them under the table by your feet. It only takes seconds for someone to walk past and grab your handbag or newly bought gifts.

When leaving a shopping centre

  • Have your car keys in your hand before you get to your car. When you return to your car be aware of your surroundings.
  • If you suspect you are being followed, do not drive directly home but go to the nearest police station.
  • Don’t place your parcels on the back seat of the car – place them in the boot. You don’t want to become the victim of a smash and grab.

ALSO SEE: 10 practical tips in the event of a hijacking

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