New Howgate initiative will help children stay safe

Children from Kinneil Primary nursery class were the first to try out the new Follow the Bear scheme
Children from Kinneil Primary nursery class were the first to try out the new Follow the Bear scheme

Being separated or losing a child in a public place can be frightening for a parent and child.

But thanks to the Howgate Centre teaming up with Follow the Bear, a new national child safety scheme, shoppers with youngsters should feel safer.

Youngsters from Kinneil Primary and Early Years Campus were the first to test the scheme at the Falkirk shopping centre giving Freddie the Bear the thumbs up.

Centre bosses are encourage families to teach children under ten what to do before they visit.

Free wristbands are available from the help desk in the centre so parents or guardians can write their name and contact number on the band for their child to wear.

Throughout the Howgate bear posters are displayed with directional arrows on the bear’s tummy so little ones can follow Freddie the Bear to a staffed safety station and use their unique ID wristband to let staff quickly reunite them with their parents.

Rhonda Irvine, the nursery’s acting senior early years officer, said: “The children were so excited to visit the Howgate and be the first to try out Follow the Bear. They found it really easy to find a safe station which was reassuring.”

Margaret Foy, Howgate marketing manager, said: “The safety of our customers is paramount and it’s important to teach children what to do when they become separated in a public place.

“If children know to Follow the Bear, it feels like a treasure hunt which helps them calm down and they can easily find a safe station at Eurochange, H Samuel or the Help Desk.”