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Monday, April 21, 2014

5 Tips to Keep Children Safe at Amusement Parks

Oooh – character sighting! A parade! Churros! Shiny object!
It’s easy to lose your child at an amusement park – especially if you have more than one. After countless trips to Disneyland, Disney World, Six Flags and smaller amusement parks, here are my fall-back tricks.
  • Take a picture of your child when you enter and keep it on your phone. If you lose your child, it’s easier to identify him if you have a picture of what he’s wearing and exactly how he looks that day. Better yet, dress everyone in matching t-shirts. Yes, you look dorky. But it's easier to find your group in an instant.
This family wore matching tie-dye. It looked awful, but they were easy to spot.
  • Don’t dress him in clothing with his name on it. You don’t need a creepy person calling out to your child with a false sense of familiarity, and your child thinking he should know this person.
  • Make sure your phone number is attached to her, so an adult can contact you when she’s found. There are a ton of identification products out there, including temporary tattoos where you can write your cell phone numberwaterproof disposable wrist bands,child dog tagsidentification bracelets or even your phone number pinned in your child’s pocket. It goes without saying that your child should know your cell phone number by heart. But some kids are too young to remember, or they get flustered and don’t remember (especially the area code).

We've used Call Me Cuffs - pictured here.
  • Have a plan when you enter the park and share that plan with your child. If your child gets lost, she should know exactly what to do, where to wait (we tell our kids not to move from that spot, so we can backtrack and look for them), and who to ask for help. We tell our kids to hold our hands or hold onto the stroller at all times, and never to assume we heard them if they say they want to see something in another direction.
  • Identify the type of people your child should approach for help. Usually that means someone from the amusement park who is wearing a name tag. Show your child different people who are wearing these tags (since they’ll be in different uniforms) and tell them what to say.
Fortunately we haven’t lost anyone at the amusement park (Rockefeller Center at Christmas is a different story), and we don’t plan to. Enjoy the parks this spring and summer and stay safe!
My post was originally published on MommyNearest.

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