Milwaukee sports teams are on fire!
Taking on the Fiserv Forum or Miller Park with kids can be such a memorable adventure for everyone. But things can quickly turn scary in a crowd if you get separated from your child.
If you're looking to attend a crowded sporting event with your kids, keep these child safety tips in mind:
Before you leave:
1. Dress the part.
Consider dressing your children in bright or easily recognizable clothing so it will be easier to spot them if they wander off.
2. Tattoo your child.
Not permanently, of course! Some parents choose to write their young child's name and number on their arm in Sharpie in case they get lost. This helps officials contact parents if they need to.
3. Work with children to memorize their full name and phone number.
Make a song out of it and practice it regularly.
4. Set clear expectations.
Before you get to the park, remind your children how important it is to stay close to you.
You can say something like "There are going to be a lot of people, and your responsibility is to be able to see me and me to be able to see you. Otherwise, we will have to hold hands or even leave."
5. Play the "What am I wearing" game?
On the way to the event, play a game to memorize what everyone is wearing. It will help you recognize each other in a crowd.
6. Explicitly teach children what to do if they get lost.
Whatever your plan, teach it clearly to your children.
For young kids, you might tell them to stay right where they are and never exit the festival. (My son's daycare tells the children to get our their imaginary super glue and put it on the bottom of their feet so they don't move from where they are.)
Some experts suggest teaching them to call your real name instead of mom or dad.
When you arrive
7. Find a wristband.
Many venues provide wristbands that have your child's identification and your cell phone number. Check their website ahead of time to find out where to find these wristbands, or make your own.
At the Fiserv Forum, guests with children are encouraged to proceed to the Guest Concierge Desk to fill out a Buddy Band (a child wristband) with name and seat location as well as a phone number, so that a children and guardians may be quickly reunited.
8. Identify helpers.
Point out uniformed trusted adults to children when you arrive at your destination. For example, point out State Fair police and vendor employees.
You might also include "another mommy with kids" as someone your child can ask for help.
9. Identify a meeting spot.
For older kids, you might consider locating a meeting spot to go to if they get lost. Be sure it is well-marked and easy to find.
10. Would you track your child?
Is technology wonderful or creepy? You can arm your child with a GPS tracker so that if they get lost, you'll know right where they are.
For example, check out the Verizon Gizmo Watch - Perfect for kids who are old enough to play with technology but are still too young for a phone of their own. It allows your kids to make/receive calls at the touch of a button and features GPS so you can see where your kids are at all times.
Do you have any other safety tips? Let us know about them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.