Avoid Shopping Dangers

February 12th, 2013 posted by Donald A. Davis

by Donald A. Davis

Snowy and rainy days make it a good time to stroll the malls and enjoy all they offer. It’s not uncommon to spend many hours, shopping, eating, and taking in some of their entertainment. If you’re lucky, you have a super store in your local area where you can do your One Stop Shopping. In any case, it’s important to know some of the safety concerns.

ESCALATORS: I was riding down an escalator. Just before we reached the bottom, the lady in front of me stopped. Then she started screaming. The lace to her sneaker got caught. The escalator did not stop automatically. Several of us tried to free her. I could hear a terrifying ripping sound as her sneaker was getting ripped from her foot. One bystander searched for a shutoff switch while two of us tried to get her sneaker off. The sneaker was tight around her foot from the pulling action of the escalator. As I tried to take off her sneaker, another bystander tried to loosen her lace. The first bystander was able to stop the escalator. The emergency switch was on the lower left side at the bottom of the escalator. This was a very frightening experience for all of us. Although this happened at an airport, escalators are in many shopping malls as well.

Safety Tips:

1. Know where the shutoff switch is for escalators that you frequently ride? 2. Read the signs around and on the escalator. 3. Make sure your child has his or her laces tied. 4. Teach your child to STEP UP as the escalator reaches the top and bottom.

SLIDING GLASS DOORS: While going shopping at our base commissary, my daughter put her hands on the doors as it opened up. Her hand followed the door all the way into its closed position. She let out a big scream and started crying. I was right behind her. I saw her arm wedged between the two doors. There was just enough gap for her arm to get stuck. She was lucky because there was a little play between the doors. This prevented her arm from being snapped in two. I was able to pry the doors apart far enough for my daughter to get her arm out. She had a little red mark on her arm but nothing more. Safety Tips:

1. Explain to your child not to touch “automatic” doors. 2. Enter doors the same time as your child or just before them. If you enter before them, make sure you hold their hand.

GUMBALL MACHINES: One of the most common attractions to children at store entrances is the good old gumball machine. Today these machines carry much more than gumballs. You can find these machines carrying stickers, little locks, miniature stuffed animals, key rings and more. These attract children like the sound of an ice cream truck coming down the street.

It was only about three months ago when my daughter and I were at the grocery store off base. I went through the automatic doors before her. We were in between the outside sliding doors and the inside sliding doors. This corridor had the gumball machines and an automatic teller machine (ATM). I withdrew some money and turned around to take my daughter’s hand. Her back was to me. I told her we had to go inside now. She said her hand was stuck. I looked over her shoulder. Her hand was indeed stuck inside the gumball machine. My first reaction was to remain calm and talk to her. She reached deep inside. When she pulled her hand, it got caught. I couldn’t pull her arm out because it was too tight. I was also concerned about any sharp edges inside.

I wasn’t going to leave her. I knew I had to keep her calm and prevent her from risking cutting her arm or hand. I kept talking to my daughter in a calm voice. I asked the next customer coming out of the store to get the manager. I explained my daughter’s arm was stuck. The manager quickly came running. Just as she entered the corridor, my daughter pulled her arm out. There was a red indent just below her wrist.

There wasn’t a phone number on any of the machines so I couldn’t report this incident to the owner. I asked the manager to ensure the owner of the machines was aware of what had just happened.

Safety Tips:

1. Explain to your child the dangers of reaching inside the gum ball machines. Let them know there might be sharp edges inside. 2. Try to remain calm if your child ever gets stuck in a situation like this or any other one that can cause him or her harm. Keep your child calm by talking to them. 3. Keep your child in your line of sight when you are conducting business at a store register or automatic teller machine (ATM).

If you are a parent, I’m sure you can relate to the many close calls our children run into each week. Sadly, there are those children who suffer greatly from preventable accidents. Try to remember that a second or two thinking about safety can prevent months of suffering.

Donald A. Davis (5 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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