How to keep your children safe in large crowds while shopping this holiday season

NORFOLK, VA. - Black Friday was just the beginning of the holiday shopping season and retails stores aren't slowing down anytime soon.

MacArthur Center's General Manager, Jim Wofford said, "In terms of the amount of customers in the center, sales for our retail it's probably one of the better Black Fridays we've had in about five years."

Public safety and customer service is on high alert amid the large crowds.

MacArthur recommends you park in well lit areas before going inside and know where the nearest exit is.

Have your keys ready in hand when you're finished shopping and walking back to your car to avoid getting robbed.

We have public safety in the garages as well as Norfolk Police officers in the garages around the clock," mentioned Wofford.

Your belongings aren't the only things you want to keep protected. Parents should keep a close eye on their children at all times.

"Because you can get kidnapped," said shopper Lily Quick. "Or because you might get lost at the mall and it's really big in that store," shopper Caroline Quick added.

"All of a sudden it becomes a panic situation," added Wofford.

Rent a free stroller if you didn't bring your own, suggested the MacArthur Center.

Never leave your kids alone while you shop no matter what attractions are at the mall to keep your children entertained. MacArthur Center recently opened its Winter Extravaganza on Saturday November 18. It includes rides and an ice skating rink for children and families to enjoy through the holidays.

Wofford stated, "A lot of times they end up at customer service and customer service becomes then the surrogate mother until we find the mom or the dad that got lost from the child."

Parent Monica Piette tells News 3, "We've kind of drifted for a short period of time and we had a meeting place. We just found a spot that we we're going to meet in 15 minutes, but we do all have cellphones I think that is very important."

The MacArthur Center asks to contact public security if you see any criminal or suspicious behavior happen while shopping.