Parades are well sought visual spectacles fit for people of all ages to enjoy. And living here in south Louisiana parades are a way of life. There are parades for everything, not just during Mardi Gras season. All children grow up attending parades and have usually been in a few before they are in elementary school. However, a number of things dictate if all attendants are comfortable and safe. check it out the following about crowds, cars, and characters when watching or walking a parade.
Younger children should be accompanied by an adult to avoid trouble and injury. Many people get crowded in a small space, which warrants a bit of wisdom and ‘street smarts’ in order to avoid trouble and injury. Share the responsibility of chaperoning with another adult or responsible party.
Crowds increase the amount of heat as well as make it difficult for those with physical impediments to move around. If an attendant in your party has medical or ambulatory issues, be sure to take this into account and make sure they feel safe and secure while watching the parade. This may mean researching special areas reserved for wheelchairs, elders, etc.
What will the weather be like on the day of the parade? It could be unseasonably hot or cold weather celebrating Halloween 2015, Christmas, etc, so be sure all attendants dress appropriately in addition to bringing umbrellas, water, waterproof clothing, etc. Of course, crowds make the immediate surroundings warmer than expected; so, it may make sense to dress in layers so attendants can take clothes on or off as needed.
It’s very easy for members of a larger party to get disconnected or lost at large events. Bring along smartphones or reserve a safe spot for lost attendants to reunite with the larger group if they get lost. Moreover, assign each member a ‘buddy’ who they hold hands with or stay close to during the event, so no one is alone at any point during the event.
A few bad apples spoil a bunch, so to ensure the safety and comfort of all attendants, try to stay away from rowdy participants or ‘mosh pits’ that might present near a stage or main area of the parade. While most participants are respectful, a few people that get too drunk, enjoy throwing things, making comments, or spoiling the fun of others may be present. Instruct attendants to stay in a group and avoid interactions with those who seem like they’re having ‘too much’ fun.
Police and Security
Find where police and security guards are posted and stay close by to enjoy an added layer of safety. Those who are looking to get rowdy are likely to stray from the roving eyes of police and security guards. Usually, major events host a website where participants can see where security will be residing.
Food and Water
It’s extremely important to stay hydrated during an event, especially if it takes place in warmer weather and hotter months. Some events place restrictions on what attendants can bring in, so check with the official website or know where to get food and water ahead of time. Since food and water is likely to be pricy at the event, it might a good idea to take in what you can from home.
Jim J. Raines is a family physician and a father of two. He likes to share his insights on living healthily and safely. Look for his articles on many family, health and lifestyle websites.
Photo credit: The Library of Congress via Flickr