Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Not a typical emergency subject...

But it is an emergency situation nonetheless. What do you do if you are a child and are separated from your group at an amusement park? What do you do if you are the responsible adult in such a situation?

I spoke with a family member recently who has worked security at an amusement park in the past. This is the gist of what was said, and recommended:

--If you are the parent, speak to any employee. Anyone dishing out icees or refreshments or walking by in official amusement park gear. If they can't contact security for you, they can tell you who can.

--The first impulse, this relative said, is to go looking for the child, because you want that child back right now. Again, speak immediately to a park employee so that security will be notified and they also will be looking for your child.

--Inform your child what to do if they find themselves in such a situation. They should do the same thing that is recommended that you do. Contact an employee--anyone who works for the park. The person thus contacted will call security, and the child will be taken to the lost child station, and a responsible adult will be found to reclaim the child.

This may seem like common sense, but at the moment that a child goes missing, common sense may go out the window when anxiety over the situation occurs. If you have thought it out ahead of time and prepared yourself and your children with the knowledge they need to get out of a situation, there is a better chance of a quicker reunion.

This may seem a little off-topic, but I was interested to learn how the amusement park system works, at least as I understand it. Knowledge is a powerful thing, and if you teach your children before an emergency happens how to deal with said emergency, everyone is the better for it. This also applies to the more typical emergency preparedness topics that get discussed on this blog, and a few examples may be:

--teaching your children how to cook emergency meals in case the adults usually responsible are ill or otherwise unable to do so.

--teaching your children what to do when the power goes out.

--teaching your children how to garden so that they know how to/are able to assist in growing their own food in case of food shortages.

Those are only a few situations, but I would love to hear more ideas about how to get children involved in emergency preparedness. How are you involving children in emergency preparation?

Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst can start at a very young age indeed...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

You should also make a mental note of the entrance/exit situation when you enter, and head immediately for the exit so you can monitor the foot traffic and hopefully retrieve your kid if he's under the control of someone trying to abscond with him.

Marie said...

Anonymous--excellent point, and couldn't have said it better myself. I do hope that's the first thing that security people check out once a child is reported missing, since some of the amusement parks are so large, and more people checking possible exits can only help in that kind of situation. Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

Marie, Excellent post. We used to pin our kids identification info to the back of thier shirts, But that was in the 60's and 70's...

Every parents worst nightmere....

Carl

Marie said...

Carl--Sometimes things change, and not for the better... I totally agree--and the panic that accompanies it is not helpful. Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that children should be taught NOT to go to a person dressed as an authority figure (police, firemen, park employee) because its too easy to fake that.

Instead, a child should be taught to go to ANY woman nearby.

Police say the chances of a woman being a killer/kidnapper of children is LESS than the chances of a pedophile or child killer dressing as an authority figure to lure children to him.

Marie said...

Anonymous--I hadn't read that, but I had heard/read that one safe(r) alternative is to look for a woman with children if you are a child who is lost. Scary, isn't it? The best alternative is not to get lost, so I guess that is what we can all strive for. Thanks for your comment!

Kymber said...

What an excellent post and on such a scarey but important subject! Thanks Marie!

And Thanks Anon 10:08 - that is a great tip to teach children!

As always - the Idaho Preppers Network is full of helpful info - keep it up Marie!

Marie said...

Kymber--Always hoping that it never becomes an issue, but preparing will hopefully make such a situation easier with a faster recovery of the child involved. Thanks very much for your kind words, they are appreciated!