Setting up a lemonade stand is an age-old summer tradition for children. Chances are, you had one, your parents had one and your parents’ parents had one. Running a lemonade stand teaches a child about the value of a dollar, instills a strong work ethic and even makes them more comfortable with public speaking, since they often have to promote their product to people passing by.
But since the world isn’t what it used to be, running a lemonade stand isn’t quite what it used to be, either. Here are lemonade stand safety rules – or any other home-based businesses, like yard sales – to abide by to keep your child and her customers safe.
1. Don’t set up right in front of your home.
If you set up in front of your home, then strangers now know where you live. If you can, set up in a park, by the beach, or somewhere that doesn’t indicate your home address or even your neighborhood. If you absolutely must set up in front of your home, make sure your surveillance cameras are on. This way, you can catch anyone behaving suspiciously around your lemonade stand, trying to get a closer look at your property.
2. Stay with your child the entire time.
Do not allow your child to run his or her lemonade stand unsupervised. You are, after all, encouraging your child to interact with strangers when they run their business. A child running a lemonade stand can be a target for kidnappers and other types of criminals, so stay with your child to scare off anybody who doesn’t have good intentions.
3. Beware of busy streets.
Do not set up the lemonade stand on the side of very busy roads. You don’t want people driving at high speeds to come to a sudden stop to buy lemonade, as this can cause an accident. You also don’t want your child to chase a runaway lemon or quarter into a busy street. Areas high in pedestrian traffic and low in vehicle traffic are ideal.
4. Beware of curious customers.
Tell your child not to share information, including their home address, what you do for a living or other personal details with customers. Beware of curious customers who seem to be lingering and talking to your child too much and asking prying questions. Usher these customers along.
5. Nail the money box to the stand.
It’s painful to think anyone would steal a box of money from an innocent child selling lemonade, but it can happen. Anytime you’re in a public place with a box of cash, you’re at risk of theft. If you’re building a lemonade stand from scratch, then simply secure the money box to the table. This way, nobody can grab it and run off.
6. Build a canopy.
Your child will be out in the sun for a while if they’re selling lemonade during the summer, so add a canopy to his or her lemonade stand. A canopy also prevents things like leaves from falling into your child’s product and making customers sick.
7. Never let a child follow a customer for payment.
Insist that all customers bring their payment to the lemonade stand. Instruct your child never to follow a customer to their car or home for payment. If a customer doesn’t have cash on hand, they will just need to get some. And do not let your child accept any payment other than cash. (Or card payment, if your child is technologically inclined.)
8. Activate your home alarms.
If you’re outside helping your child run their lemonade stand, then there may be nobody supervising your home. Activate the motion sensor alarms around your home when you’re at the lemonade stand, so you’ll know if anyone tries to enter.
Lemonade stands provide a wonderful way for kids to learn about the entrepreneurial spirit. Follow these safety rules so your child can sell something absolutely delicious while building up confidence and self-esteem.