By Shannon Randol, intern contributor, American Red Cross
Finding yourself in large groups of people in one specific area means a lot of individuals bumping elbows, sharing sweat and blindly navigating through tons of event goers. The DFW region hosts an array of outdoor events during the summer months, and it’s crucial to be prepared for the crowds.
You must be aware of your surroundings. Don’t carry important items (I.D. or credit cards) in your pockets, and always keep your purse zipped shut. Don’t forget to hide any valuables you aren’t carrying in a locked car before leaving the parking lot.
After arriving with your family or friends to the event grounds, make sure to pick out a visible landmark to designate as a meet-up spot if anyone in your group gets lost. Recognize the exits of the facility in case of an emergency. While, technology is at the tip of our fingers, a dead cell phone battery is likely. Most young children don’t carry cellphones, so tt never hurts to have a back-up plan for your family if and when technology fails.
It’s hot outside, and you should expect it to be hot; it’s Texas. Stay hydrated by drinking liters of good ol’ H2O. There is nothing better for your body than cool water on a hot, summer day. And, don’t forget to dress appropriately and apply plenty of sunblock.
If you want to be extra prepared, bring a can of bug spray. All of the rain this year has super-sized the mosquitoes, and you don’t want to be their next meal!
If traveling with small children, take a photo of them individually on your smart phone. This way if they get lost, you have the most recent photo. In a moment of panic, you might forget what he/she was wearing. This eliminates that possibility.
Without scaring your child, explain “stranger danger”. It also doesn’t hurt to practice what to do in case of separation with your child at home before you leave.
The old saying is true, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and having an un-used plan is better than scrambling to think of one in the moment. Think ahead, and don’t forget to have fun!