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5 family safety tips for theme parks
Recently, we took my daughter to Sesame Place, a water and rides haven for kids who love Elmo, Big Bird and all the pals on Sesame Street. She was bursting with excitement, and it was such a joy to see her that happy.
It was our first time at a huge theme park with her, (besides the zoo), and after hearing so many stories of kids getting lost and unfortunate safety accidents, it got me thinking to how important it is to have rules in check before you get to the park, (since when there, the kids just want to run in/won’t really listen out of sheer excitement). With halloween fairs and haunted hay rides coming up, be sure you keep these 5 tips handy for the whole family to know:
1. Don’t think about leaving your kids alone. It’s best to stay with them in restrooms, restaurants and all through the ride lines, even if you don’t plan to get on the ride yourself. Once you see your child safely strapped in, then go to the exit area of the ride to wait for them. That way you can get your child, plus hear their excitement right when it is done:)
Even though you never want to think about it, it is important to be prepared in case you do become separated. Before you even enter the theme park, go over the map and decide on a meeting place. Make sure that everyone, even the other adults, knows the name of the emergency meeting location. If your child is young, point out uniformed theme park employees who can help children find the reunion area, but remind them not to talk to any other stranger if they do get lost. At Sesame Place, there were plenty of info stands and areas with uniformed employees around the park we could point out to Laila. Also, chai momma Neesha had a great tip on what to have with your child, especially if they are super young, when you go somewhere like an amusement park with large crowds, check it out.
2. If you go on a sunny day, be healthy! You can even start preparing earlier. A few days before your trip, increase the amount of water you and your kids normally drink in a day. This can actually help the body stay cool at the park, and makes you able to drink the amount of water you and they will need to stay hydrated through all the fun of the day at the park.
On the morning of your visit, apply sunscreen, thoroughly and bring it with you to reapply it as needed throughout the day. While no one wants to miss out on anything, be sure to take plenty of breaks to rest, drink water, snack and cool off in shade.
3. Learn which rides are appropriate for certain ages and heights. Check out and follow the safety guidelines for each ride. Basically, just don’t push the limits, it’s not worth it!
When you do pick a ride, stand off to the side and watch a cycle of the whole ride together. It’s good for kids to see how the vehicles move, for you to see how the riders react and to know how long the ride lasts before you board it. Watch your child’s signals too if they are younger and seem quiet, or if he or she looks like they don’t want to experience it, it’s ok, don’t force them, there are probably plenty other rides at the park.
4. Plan the day. I am a total planner but even if you aren’t, it’s best to plan some things out since after eating a lot of food, (especially if it’s something greasy you end up getting), plan out which rides are good to go on after lunch that aren’t too dizzy. And if the park allows, it, bring your own or bring snacks to avoid the lines and cost of food if you can. And remember to watch for cues for your kids. Sometimes they get over excited and want to do EVERYTHING, but momma knows best, on when the limit to over-exhaustion can occur, so you can even plan the top few rides you know they would love first to avoid disappointment if it is time to go home.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate! Start before you go and repeat throughout the day! Explain the rules of the theme park, demonstrate proper ride behavior, like standing politely in line, waiting for assistance from staff, making sure ride restraints are secure and leaving them in place/staying in the seat, keeping hands and arms inside the ride; and listening for instructions. Also not to run to avoid collisions or injury, to stay close to you, and not to go past barriers.
It’s supposed to be a fun filled day, and even with all the safety precautions, it was an AMAZING day at Sesame Place for Laila, because we felt better safe than sorry made it more fun to relax and enjoy rather than worry.
What are some of your tips mommas?