Are you looking for great ways to keep children safe at your upcoming event? We love to attend events that are aimed at children, or make it welcoming and safe for parents to bring their kids along. It’s especially great to see all of the new and creative ways that special events and festivals are making events more safe and inclusive for children.
If you’re planning an event that admits minors, you want people to enter the event feeling like it was well thought out by including safety for children in the planning process.
Of course we all hope for a best-case scenario, but the reality is that part of good planning is to have a system in place for the worst-case scenario and to create a Major Incident/Safety Plan. Here are some things to keep in mind and plan for.
Identify the Worst Case Scenarios
While it’s not the most fun part of the creative process, it’s critical to imagine and identify all of the possible risks and hazards that could arise at your event. Events vary in size, nature, and type. However, all events can benefit from pre-event assessment and monitoring of risks so that you can set up the right controls for any situation that could arise. Hold a brainstorming session in advance to consider all of the possibilities.
The most common two incidents are as follows:
- Children Being Separated from their Parents
The most common a situation that inevitably arises at events with children is that they become separated from their parent or guardian. This is a common issue, but one that you can prepare for.
Risk: The potential of children being separated from their parents.
Safeguard: We have a great new way to minimize the risks of a child separation. We offer an Adult/Child Security Pack of Wristbands. The wristband for the child has the same number as the adult which can help with tracking and verification should your child become lost. When you order the wristbands online, you can also customize the band so that it includes the name and date of the event. Upon arrival at the event, the adult receives a wristband that matches that of the child. Exiting is monitored with the numbers of the wristbands being checked for matching to make sure that the children are exiting with the right adult. Nothing will ruin an event more quickly than a child going missing, however these wristbands and checking procedures safeguard against that possibility.
You should also implement a plan to reunite the children during the event if they are separated. It’s important that staff and volunteers are easily identified so that if a child does become separated from their guardian, they can easily identify who is in charge. If there is a PA system, an announcement can be made calling out to the parent so that they can be reunited with their child. Create a clearly identifiable checkpoint that can be used as a meeting place.
- Child Injury
Let’s face it; children are easily excitable and often get hurt, particularly when they get tired. However, child injury is not that different from adult injury and is something you should prepare for anyways.
Risk: Child (or adult) injury.
Safeguard: Create a reaction plan. Make sure that you have First Aid provisions onsite, and someone knowledgeable who will take responsibility for First Aid? For larger events, consider having an ambulance onsite, or medical staff.
Do a risk assessment to identify the potential hazards related to your specific location. Is there anything you can do to eliminate those risks in advance? For example, in thinking about children, are there any sharp objects at child level? Are there any apparatus’ that could be knocked over? Try to assess and eliminate as many potential hazards before any injury occurs.
In the worst-case scenario, what provision needs to be made for emergency services? What will be the procedure for summoning assistance? Where would an ambulance park? How would emergency services get into and out of the site?
When it comes to kids, we all care about safety. Rather than dwelling on the negative things that could happen, you can feel proud and secure knowing that you have a plan in place that will minimize the potential risks. If you’re lucky, the planning won’t have been necessary but you can rest easy knowing that you’ve implemented the necessary steps to keep your event kid-friendly, happy, and safe.