Keeping Kids Safe On Family Vacation

6/26/2017

Family vacations are times for bonding, laughter, and memories. But sometimes the unexpected happens, and being prepared is the first step to take to prevent someone getting lost or injured. In places like Orlando where the main attractions are crowded beaches and amusement parks, it is important to have a conversation about how to keep the kiddos safe while on vacation.

Here Are Six Steps To Take To Keep Kids Safe On Vacation:

  1. Have A Game Plan If Someone Gets Separated: Whether your gameplan is “stay where you are” or “find an employee” or “meet in front of Cinderella’s Castle,” make sure the kids know exactly what to do if they get separated. For younger kids, a “stay where you are” policy might be best. For older kids, finding a trusted adult in a uniform or meeting at a tall landmark visible from any part of the park might be more helpful, since it sometimes takes longer to realize an older child is missing than a toddler or young child.

  2. Make It Easy For Other Adults To Help: Sometimes young children don’t know how to ask for help – though this is something you should practice. Many children don’t even know their parents’ first names, making it hard for employees to page them. Consider writing your cell-phone number in permanent marker on your child’s arm, or giving them a hidden belt-pack to wear with your contact information in it – including any other important information such as allergies or medical conditions. The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children recommends not having children wear clothes with their first names on them, since a worried child will be more willing to trust an adult who calls them by their name.

  3. Practice Stranger Danger: If you’re heading to Disney World, there has thankfully been no reports of child abduction from the park, but that doesn’t mean that a trip to Florida won’t be surrounded with strangers. However, teaching kids to tell the difference between nice strangers and bad strangers is also important, considering that most strangers are nice and willing to help a lost child safely return to their family. The National Crime Prevention Council recommends pointing out examples of safe strangers to children. Very young children might be best at recognizing moms and dads with children in tow, whereas older kids can look for uniforms and badges that identify employees or law enforcement.

  4. Teach Kids To Recognize Dangerous Situations: Even though we like our children to feel included, they should know what things adults should NOT be asking of them. For example, adults asking children for directions, if they want a ride anywhere, or help finding a dog is not normal behavior for nice strangers, even though they might seem friendly. Teach your kids a “No, Go, Yell, Tell” system, where they tell a stranger ‘no,’ yell for help, run away, and tell an adult if an incident happens.

  5. Take A New Photo Every Day: Before you leave your Florida Vacation Pool Home, take a picture of your child on your phone or digital camera. If your kid should get lost in a public place, having a recent photo with the day’s outfit will help law enforcement search for them in a crowd.

  6. Practice Beach Safety: Our amazing beaches are what draw many vacationers to Florida, but they can also be dangerous. Before you head out on vacation, make sure all of your kids have had proper swim lessons – even infants as young as six months are eligible for swim lessons. Since our beaches can be crowded, especially during the summer, bring a brightly-colored umbrella or flag to set up that the kids can easily see to find their way back to the towels. Try and find a spot in front of a lifeguard tower. This gives you easy access to help if your child needs medical attention, and also works as another landmark so kids can easily find their way back. Also, make sure to remind kids to look at the numbers on the lifeguard towers, so they know if they are at the right one. And lastly, always be in arm’s reach of young children, and be able to visually see older children in the water. It only takes a second for a child to be pulled under the water by a riptide, so ensuring that you know where they are and being able to grab quickly them is vital to their safety.

We want you to enjoy your time in your Vacation Pool Home, and establishing a safety plan before you set out on your adventures is key to a relaxing and safe family getaway. And if anything should happen, we have a caring staff available 24/7 to help you find nearby urgent cares, hospitals, resources, or whatever else you need to have the best vacation ever. Contact us today to learn more!