Family members, especially the kids, are often so excited about vacations or plans to go to an amusement park that they forget about the importance of safety. However, like buckling your seatbelt, safety is something that should not go overlooked regardless of how mundane preparation may seem.
Remember the following safety tips for the next time you plan a vacation or a day trip with your loved ones.
Take a Picture
Most remember to pack the digital camera to take candid shots of family members eating cotton candy, riding rollercoasters, or feeding scavenger birds. Today, most smartphones double as quality cameras, so there should be no problem taking a shot of the kids before heading out. This way, if they do get lost, you have a recent picture of them wearing their clothes if you should have to report them missing to park authorities.
Kids love writing things on themselves and the notion of a temporary tattoo. Clever parents have kids write cell phone numbers on their arms in case they get lost. That way, helpful patrons and park authorities can give you a call if they come upon your lost child. It’s such a simple solution to what can otherwise be a very harrowing and stressful event.
Parks get incredibly crowded during tourist season, and it can be very easy to look away for a few seconds to find that your child is no longer by your side. Though they will be scared, it’s not wise for kids to roam around and try to find you. Rather, plan a rendezvous point (or several, depending on the size of the park) if they should get lost. Tell them to go to a particular destination and wait for you to get there.
Of course, parents are always teaching kids how to act appropriate, but some places warrant different actions. For example, at the jungle gym, kids are encouraged to run around, climb bars, and swing from devices. An amusement park may feature similar structures and plenty of open space to run, but climbing on machinery and running through a crowd of people are not appropriate actions. Teach your kids to think about their surroundings and be mindful of when and where they are. It may be difficult for kids to make the distinction that it is okay to act a certain way in one place but not in another. The venues should have safety policies and you and your children should be fully aware of them.
If you feel that the venue has poor consideration for safety, if they leave areas unguarded where children could enter and gain access to machinery, take your concerns up with management. If your concerns are genuine, fall on deaf ears and are not addressed properly, legal specialist like Bighorn Law can assist you in seeking the best way to rectify the situation. Remember, your actions today could save future injury or worse.
It’s a bit difficult to recognize clothes and faces at night; therefore, you’ll want to devise a way to make your kids stand out. Glow sticks and necklaces are a perfect solution; kids like wearing them and it becomes easier to spot them among a crowd. There’s also night glow glasses, bracelets, stardust to place on their clothes, etc.
Birds of a Feather
Kids can be overly shy or unabashedly trusting of others depending on personality. Either extreme is not the safest way to go about searching for help. Therefore, teach kids to survey the scene and look for other moms and dads with children if they should need help or get lost. It would be incredible to live in a world where any adult can be trusted, but that is not reality. So, teach kids to look for signs of trusting people, such as those with other little ones.
Of course, some of the above suggestions can be applied to parents. For example, you can bring your kid’s attention to what you’re wearing before entering a park. Choose to wear a funny hat or a bright colored shirt that is more apparent. Likewise, at night, put on a night glow bracelet or necklace so kids can easily identify you too. It is extremely dreadful to have a child lost, but remember they are equally afraid when lost. Ease their anxiety by ensuring you will be easy to spot in a crowd.
If you have a large family with a lot of kids, it may be a great idea to bring another family member along or hire a babysitter to come for the journey. An extra set of eyes keeping watch on the kids will take some of the pressure off of you so you can enjoy your vacation or day at the park too. Depending on where you stay, some hotels and destination spots have nannies you can hire by the hour who will come along for added reinforcement.
Sun and Water
So far, the focus has been on safety regarding getting lost or disconnected, but don’t forget that a day under the sun and walking around the park inspires sunburn and dehydration. Teach your children about the importance of staying hydrated and protecting their skin from harmful sun rays. If kids are at a day camp or taking an excursion with a group, you want them to get in the habit of taking care of themselves whether you’re around to remind them or not.
GUEST BLOGGER: Cheryl A. Mitchell is a safety specialist. She enjoys writing about her safe living insights on the web. Her articles appear on many family and living websites.