Keeping your kids safe is a 24/7 mental, physical, and emotional occupation, but you want them to experience fun things. So when it comes to taking those kiddos to a crowded event like a concert, your job just got a lot harder. But there are actionable things you can do to help keep kids safe at a concert, or any large event, and planning should start long before the day of the event.
We may see more safety measures put in place at future events following sad events like the one at the Astroworld music festival in Houston, which claimed the lives of 9 people, including a 14-year-old. The state of Texas. for example, recently announced a task force designed to improve security at concerts. In the meantime, much can be done between you and your family to help members enjoy crowded events safely.
What To Do Before Attending A Concert Or Large, Crowded Event With Kids
Here are a few easy, impactful steps you can take to keep your kids stay as safe as possible:
Do Some Research
Asking questions is key. Where is the venue, and what will the environment be like? The number and location of exits and nearby stairs are all things to consider before committing to a seat or space. You can even call the venue and ask about crowd management and what safety precautions are in place.
Anticipate A No-Call Zone
Consider that phone service might be spotty. “Primary modes of communication like cell phone signal and WIFI may not be functional at a large event or outdoor venue,” an American Red Cross spokesperson tells Romper. “Do as much emergency planning as you can ahead of time, and let people know of your whereabouts or any change in plans, as soon as possible.”
Check For Capacity
Look to a venue’s capacity cap. Find out how many people are expected to attend the event, and make sure you’re comfortable with the stats. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has shared guidance on calculating occupant loads, and safeguarding against a crowd potentially becoming too dense for safe movement.
Plan For Potential Separation
Have a talk with the kids who’ll be in attendance with you. It’s a great idea to have a plan in place should you become separated. Look at maps or photos of the venue together, and pick out a spot to go and wait for others, should you all get split up. “The caregiver should always pick a location that is secure and easily recognizable,” says a spokesperson for the American Red Cross. “Good examples of meeting locations could include a first aid tent or a first responder holding area.”
The safety resource asecurelife.com even recommended looking into GPS trackers that individuals can wear to help keep an eye on people. You can also try temporary tattoos with your name and number on them if your children are separated from you and have to rely on another person for help.
Dress For Maximum Visibility
Of course there’s the trick of wearing bright-colored clothing to make everyone visible and distinguishable in a crowd; a hat might also help. Some other wearable ideas from asecurelife.com include arming kiddos with glow sticks or light-up shoes and clothes to help keep track of them.
How To Stay Safe While At A Concert
Even though you’ve likely done some research at home, assess the venue again when you get there. “Upon arrival to the event or venue, determine emergency exits and shelters,” says an American Red Cross spokesperson. “Stay with your group and do not venture off on your own.” Make sure your meeting spot is there, and everyone knows where it is. “Consider sharing your location through an app like the Red Cross Emergency App or through your phone to easily identify where members of your party are located, if you become separated.”
Staying together is key, as is trying to keep away from bottlenecks. It’s been reported that it may not be a crowd so much as the collective movement of a crowd that could cause potential danger. So really pay attention to where you stand or sit, and consider access to those exits at all times.
If your kids are old enough to be going to a concert without an adult, talk through these tips with them and have them make a plan with their friends so they can keep each other safe.