I work in a prominent mall in Dubai as a customer service representative and have, on numerous occasions, witnessed parents being very lax about their children's safety.
Escalators, no matter how slow they work, are not toys. I have witnessed so many children getting injured because they think it is a toy. Do parents not notice the danger? Many escalators have a yellow line on each step. There is a reason for this and you are supposed to stay in between those lines instead of playing on the steps. Teach your children that.
There have been several instances where a child runs up on to an escalator the wrong way and someone has to pull them off. Many times, these children shout out to their parents who smile back proudly as though it is a feat. It is extremely dangerous and a drop from that height can also result in death.
When you go to a mall, do not leave your children in electronic shops just because they have video games and movies on display. This is another incident that occurs a lot. The shop attendants are not there to babysit your child while you shop or have coffee with your friends. Many a time, the children get tired and are brought to the security guards by the attendants because the parents have just left them there. It is wrong.
Also, when you go to a mall, it is advisable to have your child carry your mobile number, by writing it on a piece of paper and putting it in his or her pocket. The security can then contact you in case your child is lost. With the recent news stories about the abuse of children, you never know if a predator might be waiting for an opportunity in a big mall. Teach your children not to talk to strangers and, instead, speak to people in uniform in case they are lost.
The mall's security is available to make your shopping experience comfortable, but leaving your child behind to watch an event and then forgetting about them does not give you permission to vent your frustration on a security officer. Yelling at them is not going to make the situation better. A mall does everything to ensure that your child is found in case they get lost. Being patient will help the security do their job better.
Another thing is you should not let your child play next to the water fountains as it only takes a few seconds for an accident to occur. The child could slip and get hurt. Parents should constantly watch their children and make sure that they are nearby. This also means watching your children when they are throwing bottles from upper floors. It is very dangerous and people can get hurt.
All the incidents that I have mentioned above are real ones. I have seen them happen on a daily basis. I request parents to be more careful and teach their children that they should behave the same way as you would expect them to at home. It will go a long way in ensuring that your children are safe in a mall.
The reader is a customer service representative based in Dubai.
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