This article is jam-packed with helpful tips for grandparents and parents that are meant to keep kids safe during family outings.

Keep Kids Safe

One of the joys of being a grandparent is taking the grandkids to theme parks and other family venues that gather large crowds. Large crowds create the potential of kids getting lost and separated from their family unit.

Have you ever lost a child in a large crowd?

One moment, your child is right next to you and in the blink of an eye… you can’t find them. It’s a frightening, gut-wrenching experience for everyone concerned that’s every parent’s worst nightmare. The good news is… you can take steps to minimize the risk. And you begin by developing an action plan just in case one of your kids gets lost in a crowd.

What to do BEFORE Leaving Home:

Keep Kids Safe – Tip #1 – Have a Lost Child Strategy in Place

Most theme parks, zoos, aquariums etc., provide a downloadable map of their attractions from their website. So download a map and determine where the park’s information centers, first aid stations and baby-care centers are located and mark them so they are easily seen.

Determine a Meet-Up Location and circle it on your map. You may want to select an easy to find park attraction as a meet-up point if members of your party get separated. When our family went to the zoo in San Francisco all five kids knew to head to Monkey Island if we got lost. My dad chose this location because it was in the center of the zoo and easy to get to from all directions. In Disneyland you might want to select the Matterhorn because it’s easily scene from all around the park.

When you determine your meet-up location, be sure to tell the kids about it multiple times before and after you arrive at your outing destination. Make a game out of it so it fun rather than stress-inducing for the kids.

Keep Kids Safe – Tip #2 – Tattoo the Crew before Heading to the Zoo

Yep, Tattoo! Don’t worry, they are removable tattoos (aka child ID tattoos) specifically designed for kids to wear on family excursions. How cool is that? Once such product is called SafetyTat – The Tat That Brings Kids Back!®

These tats are fun for kids to wear and provide peace of mind to adults. The tattoos say, “If LOST, please call ____________ and a space is provided to write the parents/grandparents cell phone number. Take extra care to write legibly. Your phone number needs to be easy to read!

Place the tattoo on your child’s forearm where it can easily be seen. This serves two very important purposes: 1) It will likely deter a child abductor. 2) If your child gets lost or separated anyone who assists your child will know immediately how to contact you.

These tattoos are very reasonably priced, ranging from $9.99 for a 6-pack up to $19.99 for a Multi-Design 18-pack.  When it comes to child safety, I’m sure you will agree the cost of these valuable safety tats is more than reasonable.

DO NOT MAKE A HOMEMADE TATOO USING A “Sharpie” marker. These pens are not intended to be used on human beings and should never be applied to the skin. They contain industrial solvents that penetrate the skin and can enter the bloodstream.

Keep Kids Safe – Tip #3 – Every Adult in Your Party (Who Also Owns a Cell Phone) Should Wear Clothing with a Pocket That Will Securely Hold a Cell Phone

When deciding what you and the other adults in your group are going to wear on your family outing, keep this in mind. Wear clothing that will allow you to keep your cell phone on your person. THINK POCKETS!

Test out the pockets before leaving home. Do they hold your cell phone easily and securely? Are you comfortable with your cell phone in the pocket? Try to select clothing with button closures on shirt pockets so you can prevent your phone from slipping out when you bend over.

Keep Kids Safe – Tip #4 – When Visiting Public Venues Make Sure Your Children DO NOT Wear Clothing Printed with Their Name.

This Keep Kids Safe recommendation comes from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Child predators will use your child’s name to lure your child away from the group. Children tend to be trusting of anyone who knows their name, so don’t broadcast it on the clothes. The same theory applies to the hats and ball caps that you purchase at these parks that you embroider with their names. Buy them, but tell the kids they can’t wear then in the park.

What to Do BEFORE Entering the Theme Park or Family Outing Location

Keep Kids Safe – Tip #5 – Take a Picture of Your Parking Location’s Signage with Your Cell Phone or Digital Camera

This is super easy to do and can save you time and frustration from trying to find your car after a long day of family fun. (Especially if your kids are tired and cranky!) You may want to have more than one person take a picture of the sign just in case one of you loses your cell phone or camera. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Keep Kids Safe – Tip #6 – Take a Photo of the Kids at the Entrance to the Park

Do not forget to do this important step. In the event of a lost child you will be able to show park authorities and up to date picture of your missing child and what they were wearing. EVERY person in your party with a cell phone or camera should take this picture on their devices. That way, everyone in your group will have a picture of the child when you head out in different directions looking for whose missing.

What to do during your Family Fun Day to Keep Your Kids Safe:

Keep Kids Safe – Tip #7 – Set Your Cell Phone to Ring AND Vibrate – Then Place it in a Pocket

When your phone is set to vibrate and ring you will be immediately aware of any incoming phone calls due to the vibration of your phone. In very noisy venues you may not hear your phone ringing but when your phone is touching your body you will feel it vibrate.

Placing your phone in a front pocket (pants or shirt – preferably with a button closure) is a safer location that in a back pocket. Another option is to keep your phone in a fanny pack where you have placed your phone inside so that it rests up against your body. You want to be alerted by the phone’s vibrating feature.

Keep Kids Safe – Tip #8 – Never let kids become isolated with people they do not know.

Have a talk about Stranger Dangers and instruct your kids to never speak to someone they don’t know without checking with you first. This includes theme-park costumed characters.

These Keep Kids Safe tips are easy to do and will surely help to keep your kids out of harms way, so do the right thing and share this with every parent you know.

 

 

 

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