Safety at Amusement and Theme Parks
Some families bring their own baby-sitter on vacation. A teenager your kids already know might be happy to have a week at the beach, for example, in exchange for watching your kids for a few hours each afternoon or evening.
With all the noise, people, and excitement, it's easy for families to become separated at amusement parks. Lost children are commonplace at these attractions, so good parks have well-trained staff to handle young wanderers. Tell your children that, if they become separated from you, they should go to the nearest park staff member (wearing a uniform and name tag) and ask for help.
If you lose sight of your child, tell a staff person and request that security officers be notified immediately.
One way to make it easier to keep track of your kids is to dress them in matching shirts and hats in an unusual color or distinctive design.
It's also a good idea to attach a covered luggage tag to your child's clothing or place it in a pocket. (The cover prevents a stranger from seeing your child's name.) Include your name as well as your child's and the name and number of your hotel. Some parks issue special tags for young children; ask about this when you enter the park.
Don't assume that amusement rides are safe, especially in traveling carnivals where the rides must be taken down and put up at each stop. Look for an inspection notice at the entrance to the ride. If a ride looks poorly maintained, skip it. Also avoid rides that have only one operator. There should be two—one to operate the equipment and one to make sure kids are securely fastened in.
Remind your kids that they must meet the height and weight requirements of a ride and must follow all rules—keeping their hands inside the cars, for example.
Medical Care at the Amusement Park
If you need medical assistance, most large facilities have walk-in clinics or first-aid stations. Check the map so you'll know where to go if you need help.
It's smart to carry a few first-aid supplies with you, such as adhesive bandages and antibiotic cream to treat minor cuts and scrapes. Also, if it's summer, use plenty of sunscreen, take breaks, and make sure your kids get enough liquids so they won't be overcome with the heat.
More on: Childhood Safety
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Child Safety © 2000 by Miriam Bacher Settle, Ph.D., and Susan Crites Price. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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