At an age when many children still believe in monsters under the bed, we begin to teach them about real life monsters, and the concept of stranger danger. Stranger danger is a concept that extends into adulthood, and we can still feel uncomfortable when a car pulls over and asks for directions, no matter how harmless the driver appears to be (is this old lady going to try and kidnap me?). There are many aspects of personal safety that we can also take for granted as we reach our adult years, and there are many circumstances when we need to pay more attention than we probably do. So what are some instances when we’re not so cautious and perhaps need to be?

When You’re on Vacation

If you live in a larger city, or a place that has particularly unique attractions, you’re probably used to seeing tourists walking around, map in hand, with slightly puzzled expressions on their faces. Remember that you might be exactly the same when you travel, and all too often, tourists might as well have “rob me” written on their foreheads. While violent street crimes aren’t so frequent in most popular tourist cities across the US and Europe, you might be subtly targeted by a pickpocket or for a bag snatching, since tourists are more likely to have “goodies”- expensive cameras, a lot of cash, and even your passport, which can be sold. Certainly, enjoy your trip, but be discreet- check your route before you leave, and avoid obviously staring at your map and street signs when you’re out. Research some of the better known scams as well- like in certain European cities, when a person asks you to fill in a “survey,” which is always in English, despite the fact that you’re in Paris or Berlin, and has poorly photocopied logos of well-known organizations such as UNICEF or the Red Cross- while you’re distracted, the survey persons accomplice might be reaching into your bag or pocket.

When You’re Partying

As children become teenagers and start to test their limits, it’s almost inevitable that they will start to consume alcohol sooner than their parents would like, and in greater quantities than are safe. It’s important to make sure that young adults are educated in the dangers of alcohol, and you can do this at home if the information isn’t offered at school. When people are old enough to legally enjoy bars and nightclubs, there are a certain number of safety protocols that need to be followed. Never leave your drink unattended, as it increases the possibility of it being drugged, which is often done in order to rob or assault a person. The “buddy system” is also a great idea, as it lessens the chance of someone drinking too much and becoming disorientated. Be very wary of recreational drugs, and while we have all heard stories of people partaking and not experiencing any ill-effects, remember that illegal drugs are manufactured in home based laboratories with no quality control, usually mixed by hand, meaning that a pill or powder might in fact contain a lethal dose of the active ingredient. 

When You’re Shopping

You might not think that trying to find a bargain can be a dangerous activity, but on occasions, a shopping mall can become a battlefield, as people become violent in their efforts to grab the best possible deal. This can occur when shoppers are seemingly whipped into a frenzy by a particular sale, such as the Black Friday sale (the first Friday after Thanksgiving- the start of the festive shopping season). A female shopper at a Walmart actually pepper sprayed her fellow shoppers, as she tried to keep them away from the electronics devices she was attempting to grab from the shelves. There have even been deaths from stampeding crowds during these sales. If you don’t feel like facing the crowds, but still want a bargain, then shopping online can be a great way to do this, and many retailers offer their Black Friday bargains online, although this is often focussed around Cyber Monday (the Monday after Black Friday), which is strictly for online sales. Remember to be cautious when buying online, and ensure that the site you’re buying from is legitimate.

About the author: Anita, Higher Click’s writer, enjoys occasional guest blogging and maintains her personal blog as well. She loves to write about everyday topics that offer something interesting everyone. She also blogs on behalf of huge brands, like Macy’s.

Seriously, you may want to take along a first-aid kit, especially on trips, and a small one to keep in your car.  It’s better to be prepared, even if it’s a shopping extravaganza.! pb