By Roy Benaroch, MD
Disney, Universal, Six Flags– huge places, huge crowds, and huge fun! Of course, there are dangers too, but a few simple steps can help keep your family safe so you can have great time without the worry.
If you’re visiting with young children, you’ll want to make sure that no one gets lost or separated. Consider wearing bright, matching shirts so you can spot each other in a crowd. Teach your children what to do if they can’t find a parent– they ought to stick together and stay where they are for a few minutes. If you don’t reappear, kids should find the closest park employee and ask for help. When you first get to a park, practice spotting employees and walking up to them to ask for help. Young children may not be able to memorize your mobile number, so it can be a good idea to write the number on their tummy with a sharpie. All they’ll have to do is lift up their shirt! Another good idea: take a photo of your kids when you get to the park, so if someone does stray you’ll already have a picture of them in their correct clothes to show to park employees.
Older children can safely explore on their own, but you ought to set up meeting places and times. Make sure phones are charged and ringers are turned up to maximum, and remind your children that they need to look at the time and check messages now and then!
For everyone: keep drinking plenty of fluids, and don’t forget your sunscreen. In a long day, sunscreen will have to be re-applied several times. It may be cooler and less busy in the evening, but in the summer there’s still plenty of sun in the late afternoon.