Black Friday sales are tempting and titillating, and therefore hard to resist. Many of us can’t stand the thought of missing out on these great deals, even if it means dragging our kids out on Thanksgiving day to stand in long, crowded lines. I’ve participated in Black Friday since I was a child, and have braved the lines in front of Target, Walmart and Best Buy to grab deals for my mother and Aunt. But that was a different time, when Black Friday was safe.
Should you take your child to Black Friday sales? I would say that depends upon what sale you’re going to, how long you plan on standing in line, and the weather.
Best Buy and Sears are two of the safest stores to go to on Black Friday. Sears is okay for kids because the lines are typically pretty short. Best Buy is safe because they have a ticket system which keeps the line organized and people under control. However, Best Buy’s lines are much longer than Sears. So if you are after one of their doorbusters, be prepared to stand in line for at least 3-4 hours; that may be too long for children under 13.
Avoid going to Walmart with children on Black Friday. Walmart-ers can get a little crazy. All Black Friday deaths over the past few years have happened at a Walmart store. Walmart did try to regain some control by not closing their store before the Black Friday sale; they now stay open all-day on Thanksgiving. But now customers crowd around the large pallets of doorbusters. Those pallets remain shrink wrapped until the sale begins, but this just results in customers getting a bit out of control once the pallets are unwrapped.
No child should be out in the rain so you can save 50% off. So make sure the weather is appropriate if you are going to take your kid. And make sure you have necessities in your Black Friday bag to add to your child’s comfort.