How to Keep Your Kids Safe at Big Events
There’s been a lot of attention focused on the safety of big events recently. Considerations include COVID safety, but the recent Travis Scott concert tragedy brought even more attention to how these events are managed.
At the Houston Astroworld Travis Scott concert, several people died after the crowd attempted to rush the stage. Currently, a nine-year-old child is hospitalized on life support as a result. Most parents wouldn’t have their children at an event like the concert, so that’s relatively rare.
However, there may be other scenarios where you take your kids to live events like stage shows or concerts.
Attending these events can be a great experience for kids and expose them to music and culture, but the following are some general safety tips to keep in mind at the same time.
Book Seated Events When You Can
If you’re taking your kids to a show or concert, try to book tickets in advance at events with reserved seating.
Any time there isn’t reserved seating at an event, it’s likely to be more dangerous and chaotic, as is evidenced by the Astroworld concert.
If you can book seats along an aisle, that can be best if you have kids. When you choose aisle seats, you can get up and find an exit if needed, including for minor emergencies like your child needing to use the bathroom.
If you’re going to an event that doesn’t have pre-booked seating, try to stay at the edges of the crowd. Never try to approach the stage or push your way through when you have kids. The closer you get to the stage, the more likely you might be caught up in a situation you can’t get out of.
Consider Ear Protection
Something you might not think about when you take your kids to a large event is whether they should wear headphones or ear protection, but they often should.
There are headphones and earmuffs designed just for this purpose. Otherwise, even at an event that you might not think of as being that loud, the environment can damage your child’s hearing.
If your kids are around loud music or even background sounds for an extended period, in addition to hearing damage, it can also cause them to feel moody or irritable.
When children wear ear protection during large events, it lowers the sound so that it’s a comfortable, enjoyable level for them.
Baby’s and children’s ears are especially sensitive to loud sounds.
Even something that’s only as loud as a busy road as an example, can damage hearing.
Have a Plan If You Get Separated
If, for any reason you’re separated from your children, you should have talked about what your plan will be ahead of time. You can take a look at a map of the venue and designate a safe zone where you’ll meet if you get separated. An information desk or ticket counter can be a good option.
You should talk to your kids about the importance of never leaving with a stranger, and before a large event, go over some of the different scenarios that could happen and how your child should react to each.
If your children are very young, you might put a wristband on them that has their name and your name and contact information. If your kids are old enough, make sure they know your cell phone number or have it written down to take with them.
As part of your planning, talk to your kids about who will be at the event and which employees or staff at the venue can be helpful to them. For example, maybe you can tell your child to look for uniformed officers or another parent pushing a stroller who might have experience to help your child.
If you feel ready to return to indoor, live events, you might be thinking about COVID safety for your kids.
Most venues take precautions to protect everyone, but you should check ahead of time before you attend any event to make sure you’re comfortable with their guidelines and protective measures.
For example, maybe you want to only go to events requiring vaccinations or face masks, or perhaps you’re more comfortable with attendees taking COVID tests before attending.
Dressing Your Child
When you have younger kids, it’s hard to see them in a crowd. You should dress them in bright clothes and yourself as well so they can identify you.
If you’re going to an evening event that’s outdoors, you might get everyone in the family a glow-in-the-dark item.
Prepare yourself as much as you can. For example, rather than bringing a purse, use a backpack so you can hold your child’s hand.
Consider bringing a small first aid kit and a portable charger.
If you’re worried or the event could be especially chaotic, there’s technology that can give you peace of mind. For example, you can buy a GPS tracker for your child when you’re at an event.
After you get your child ready, but before you head out for the event, take a picture of them so you have it in case you need to show anyone.
Consider a State ID
You might find it helpful to get your child a state ID. A state ID is something your child can take with them as a source of identification, and it can help event authorities locate you if necessary.
Finally, make sure that you’re choosing truly kid-friendly events. Don’t take your young children to something where there’s more likely to be pushing, shoving, drugs, or violence, no matter how interested you are in the events.
As the Travis Scott situation shows, events can get out of control in the blink of an eye and even be deadly. Only choose family-friendly and age-appropriate events, no matter what other safety precautions you’re taking with your kids.
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