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Theme Parks: Parents’ Worst Nightmare?

As a mom, I wear multiple hats, each entailing different circumstances in your kids’ lives. Call me a caregiver, friend, nurse, and fan and you would be right. Every decision I make impacts their future so I make them with great thought. As they grow up, new situations demand more of my attention and I must be creative and resourceful. Let me tell you what is currently on my mind.

For example, when my children are outside playing in the front yard, I am super vigilant and mindful of dangers. Cars can come out of absolutely nowhere. I also worry when they are in a pool, our own or that of a neighbor. I am terrified of drowning. All my children know how to swim and they know not to do it alone. Kids are in peril everywhere they go, even in the supposed confines of a fenced-in school. What scares me now that they are older and want to go to a theme park on weekends, is what can happen either on the rides or when they are just walking around. Danger lurks in every corner no matter how good the park’s reputation may be.

Kids like to go in groups, a practice of which I approve. Most times there is an adult tagging along. They don’t go at night unless it is daylight saving’s time during the summer and they must be home before dark. This is an absolute rule. My other demand is that no child be allowed to wander off alone, even if he has to go to the bathroom or get some food. There is an unspoken rule that he or she must be accompanied. If a child doesn’t comply, he is not allowed to go again. This proviso works well in my family and I have encouraged my neighbors to do the same.

A theme park doesn’t have to be a parent’s worst nightmare if you take precautions. There are pickpockets and thugs to be sure, but if you are in a group, an aggressor isn’t likely to approach you. If you are concerned, there are ways to safeguard your family and protect yourself in a busy environment. It only has to happen once for you to be grateful that thought about self defense ahead of time. You can carry mace which is fast-acting and will immobilize anyone if it is sprayed at close range. If would give you time to get away even though it isn’t lethal. There are stun guns, brass knuckles (made of hard plastic), collapsible batons, and LED lights on a key chain. Body alarms are becoming more popular. I have taught my kids to scream and yell if they are grabbed, even when walking by my side.

I will close today’s blog with a reminder to everyone, with or without children, to learn about personal safety and what might happen even near your own home. I don’t want to be a fearmonger but a voice of caution and reason.