Shop without the Drop

Christmas shopping is one of the most enjoyable pastimes at this time of year. Unfortunately, the hustle and bustle that brings holiday spirit to area malls and department stores can also lead to injury for children and adults.

• Shopping carts are one of the biggest risks for children. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, they result in annual hospital emergency room visits for about 21,000 injured children age 5 and younger.
• Escalators also are shopping trip hazards, causing approximately 6,000 injuries each year.
• Violent crimes, which often take place in shopping mall parking lots and garages, can cause some of the most brutal injuries.

The grim statistics don’t have to put a damper on your Christmas spirit. Keep a few safety tips in mind to ensure that your holiday shopping trip is without injury.

Kid stuff

Have a talk with children old enough to understand about what to do if he or she gets separated from you, such as finding a store clerk or security guard. Supervise children of any age closely, and keep those under age 4 in a stroller. If you are going to strap them into a shopping cart, always use the safety belt. Stay close to the cart. Never let your child stand in or push a shopping cart.
If you are getting onto an escalator with your children, never bring strollers, carts or walkers with you. Always hold your child’s hand, face forward, and keep feet away from the edge of the steps. Make sure nobody has loose shoe laces, scarves or mittens that can get stuck. If something falls on the escalator don’t try to pick it up. Hold onto the escalator railing at all times.

Parking lot safety

If you are with other people, or especially if you are shopping alone, don’t be an easy target for violent crime. Be alert and aware of your surroundings, especially on parking decks and in underground garages. Park in a well lit area away from bushes and other places where criminals can hide. Always lock your car and roll up the windows.

Don’t overload yourself with packages so that your vision is obstructed. When you put your packages in the car, hide them under a blanket or in your trunk. This will reduce the chances of someone trying to break into your car and steal them.

If you follow these safety measures, before long you and your children will be wrapping Christmas presents in the safety of your home.

Established in 1906, Powell Law is Northeastern Pennsylvania’s oldest personal injury law firm. Our PA personal injury lawyers have successfully represented thousands of clients in serious personal injury cases, including PA car accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, PA medical malpractice, PA worker’s comp, slip and fall, product-related injuries and Social Security disability claims. Our PA criminal defense attorneys represent defendants in all types of summary, misdemeanor and felony cases ranging from drunk driving cases to major crimes in both state and federal courts. Powell Law has offices in Scranton, Stroudsburg, Taylor and Moscow. Call us toll free at 800-290-7707.

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