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Make Sure Your Holiday Shopping is Merry, not Scary

Posted by copeland on December 5, 2013

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Everyone knows that Black Friday shopping can be a bit of a risk. Overzealous shoppers have thrown punches, trampled competitors and store employees, and destroyed store property according to multiple reports over the past several years. But the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving isn't the only time holiday shoppers are at risk. In fact, the dangers continue throughout the Christmas and Hanukkah season.

Top causes of holiday shopping-related injuries include those caused by escalators, shopping carts and violent crime. Escalator incidents are blamed for some 6,000 injuries each year. And shopping cars send upwards of 21,000 children age five and younger to emergency departments nationwide annually. Another danger lurks in mall and department store parking lots and garages. Statistics show 12 percent of violent crimes occur in commercial establishments, and eight percent in parking lots and garages.

Personal injury attorneys with Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates offer these tips to keep you and your children safe throughout the Christmas shopping season:

  • Keep your kids close at all times. Should you get separated, teach your children to go directly to a store clerk or security guard. It's a good idea to place a note with your name and cell phone number in your child's pocket to help with identification. 
  • If you're placing a child in a shopping cart, use the safety belt and insist your child remain seated. 
  • When riding the escalator, hold your child's hand and watch for loose items like shoelaces, drawstrings, scarves and purse straps that can get caught in the escalator's gears and parts. If you're using a cart or stroller, opt for the elevator instead. 
  • Park in a well-lit area away from potential visual obstructions like partial walls, bushes or trees. Have your keys in your hand and be careful not to overload yourself with packages, as this can make you an easy target for thieves.

If you or your dependents are injured while shopping during the holidays or any time of year, report it to store workers and law enforcement officers, get medical attention and contact a personal injury attorney. Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates can be reached at 407-999-8995, or at 407-847-7277 in Kissimmee.