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Keeping Little Ones Safe in Large Crowds

Keeping Little Ones Safe in Large CrowdsAs we approach warmer weather in the coming months, many of us will want to take our little ones to festivals, amusement parks, and other indoor and outdoor events. The thought of huge crowds of adults towering over our children at these events can be a little daunting. I have gathered a few tips from online and other parents on how to stay safe in crowded places that I would like to share with you. 

One of my favorite “tools” to staying safe in large crowds is the amazing baby carrier. My favorite brand is the Tula carrier. This soft structured carrier has wonderful adjustment straps and thick padding for the shoulders so I can wear my baby for hours at a festival with no back pain! Baby stays close to you and will not go anywhere. There are also toddler carriers to keep your toddlers from running away. Baby carriers are great because unlike strollers, you can walk up stairs with ease without needing to find a ramp and you can walk through crowds a lot easier. Before carriers came into my life, we once took our toddler and infant to a festival. Toddler was walking and baby girl was in the car seat in the stroller. Needless to say after a few minutes, my toddler wanted in the stroller so we had to carry baby girl in the car seat the entire time. I’m so grateful for baby carriers!

Along with baby carriers, I learned that the long adjustment straps can be used for “independent” toddlers who don’t really want to hold your hand but they need to stay close to you. I have them put a finger in the elastic of the adjustment strap and tell them to hold on. My daughters have a sense of independence and are more likely to listen to me in crowded places. If I didn’t have my baby carrier, I would tie a long ribbon to my purse and they would have to hold onto that when I needed them close.

It is very important to have a plan of safety with older children. After a certain age, children will understand not to talk to strangers without a parent. It is also very beneficial to learn the parent’s phone number. Make a fun song about it! Repeat it many times until they have it memorized. My little sister memorized our number so fast she would have to repeat it several times for the person to write down the phone number. Have a central location to meet in case someone does get lost and point out the staff members so they can go to them if they need help.

I learned that it is helpful to take a picture of the child the day of the event. In case your child is lost, it is helpful to show them a picture of what they are currently wearing. Bright clothes help! I remember my mom made us wear these yellow neon jumpsuits when we went out. (Glad I don’t have pictures for proof!)

Baby Carriers

You can write your phone number on the inside of the shirt of your toddler with a permanent marker, fabric marker, or get fancy with iron-on vinyl. There is also another method of writing your phone number on a clear bandage with a permanent marker and placing it on the inside of the wrist of the child.  Personally, I would only do that method if they had a long sleeve shirt to maintain personal information safe.

My husband and I have learned to never assume the other parent is watching the child. We make sure to always voice, “I am watching the girls” or “Can you take over?” This can happen with large family gatherings and we get distracted by visiting with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. I’m sure many of us have said, “I thought you were watching the children!”

Most importantly, communication is key with your children. I talk to my two year old and three year old and tell them 1-3 rules right before I get them out of their car seats. They know they always need to stay close to me when there are cars, I always have to see them and hear them in crowded places, and they need to listen to me when I ask them to follow me. I have them repeat the rules to me so I know they understand what I just said. I feel that if I give them some sense of independence, they are more likely to listen to me.

Staying safe is very important in large crowds and hopefully some of these tips will help your family as they have helped mine.

Whispered by: Claudia’s current obsessions are the shows “Call the Midwife” and “Bones.” She also loves to craft and make cute wood signs and funny sayings on shirts. She loves to snuggle her daughters while watching Moana over and over and over and over again.

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