By Pink Diva
Disney is a magical place where dreams come true. It can be a vacation of a lifetime. In a split second that fairytale can turn into a nightmare. I have a few tips to help keep you safe all while having a great time.
Before I became a Diva I worked in child injury prevention. I taught child passenger safety (car seats), home safety, fire safety, water safety and stranger danger. I now have two small children and we practice these safety standards wherever we go.
- Make sure your child knows his/her whole name. Try to teach them Mom and Dad’s real names as well. This way if a child gets lost it can speed up the recovery process. Get older kids to remember cell phone numbers.
- Teach kids that Cast Members are there to help. If they have a problem, get separated from the group or have a concern Cast Members are there to help. Teaching kids “safe” people to go to if they need help will give them some control in a scary situation. Other Moms will usually help as well and are not very scary to kids.
- Follow all rules and instructions. Cast Members are not telling you these things because they are mean. They are doing it because they want to keep you safe. That means no walking over the ropes, crossing during parades, or stepping over the yellow line.
- Keep an eye on those in your party. There can be large crowds at times and little ones (and big ones!) can get swept up in the crowds. Slow down, make sure your party is all together and continue on your way. We keep our kids in a stroller when moving from one place to another. We get there faster and it’s a good way to keep them with us. I’ve seen many families use the backpack/leash things. I’m not a fan personally, but if that’s what it takes to keep your child close to you do it.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Same rules apply in Disney as they do in the real world. In parking lots you need to watch for vehicles. Everyone needs to be properly buckled up while in a vehicle. You can’t stop in the middle of the road to take a picture. If you wouldn’t do it at home don’t do it at Disney.
If you are staying at one of the resorts or enjoying a water park you will be encountering water. The water slides, pools and splash pads are loads of fun, but anytime you are around water it can be a dangerous situation.
- Always watch your children. That means you are not on your phone, having lunch or talking with friends. A good rule when your kids are in the water is to have your two feet in the water. That keeps you close and able to actively watch them.
- The lifeguards should be viewed as a secondary line of defense. They are trained well and are very good at their jobs. However, drowning can happen in an instant and is usually very quiet. A child gets into the pool and sinks. No yelling, splashing or noise of any kind. If the pool is full then it can be hard for the lifeguards to keep an eye on every single person.
- Use the life jackets that are provided. They are there for guests to enjoy and are another layer of safety. Make sure you wear the proper size and have it on correctly.
- Follow all posted safety rules and Cast Member instructions. This is so important I’m putting it here as well. These rules are for your safety and the safety of others.
Staying in a hotel is fun. It’s like home, but new and exciting. This can make kids curious and forget the rules.
- Don’t ever leave your kids in the room alone. Seems obvious, but when you want something from the gift shop and the kids are asleep it’s tempting. Or taking a quick smoke break. Just don’t do it. That quick time away could end up taking a lot longer than you planned. Leaving kids alone in an unfamiliar place is never a good idea.
- Know the windows. Know how they lock, if they open and if there are cords for the shades. Keep windows locked and cords out of reach.
- If you are using a portable crib or pack n’ play keep them away from windows, tall dressers and phone cords. Place them where they can’t reach anything to pull into the crib and injure themselves. Keep all cords (Blinds, phone, tv, phone) out of reach. Kids can put them around their necks and strangle themselves.
- Watch the bathroom. Test the water temperature before putting kids in the tub. Keep the bathroom door shut and pay attention when kids go in. Toddlers can easily fall in the toilet or bathtub and be injured.
- Know the exits. Fire alarms go off. It happens. More often than not it’s a false alarm, but you don’t want to take any chances. Read the safety information on the back of the door that lets you know the fire escape routes and other basic safety instructions.
- Stay in the designated areas. This is especially important in the loading areas. There usually is crowd that is eager to get somewhere and large buses. Keep your distance and stay in the designated areas.
Keep your Disney memories wonderful by following these safety tips. Have a great time, enjoy the magic, but keep safety a priority. What do you do to keep your family safe while on vacation?