Monday, August 1, 2011
Crowded Spaces – Dangerous Places! Overprotective or Preventive Maintenance?
Our family just returned from vacation, and while I’d hardly call it relaxing, a week in Orlando, 2 families, 4 adults, 6 kids, 2 condos, 4 pools, several theme parks, well, you get the idea…. It was a ton of fun for all of us. But I will tell you I noticed some very brave parents out there when it came to their kids and walking around inside theme parks, which were crazy busy packed by the way. It was after all the middle of July. Well, they were either very brave or very naïve. I can tell Florida needs a lot of education about the dangers facing their children and about the steps they need to take to protect them!
At one point we even saw a mother leave her two kids, approximate ages 2 and 4, at the exit of a ride while she walked somewhere completely out of site, to get her stroller and personal things. 2 and 4! So of course I go into hyper-attentive mode – didn’t she see the news back in February when a 2-year old was molested at SeaWorld? Doesn’t she know that’s extremely dangerous? Maybe I should say something?
My kids of course tell me to stay out of it, that I’m an overprotective mother, always worried about the worst that can happen. I don’t think I’m overprotective at all – I think I’m just about the right amount of “prevention focused.” So of course I watched those two little ones until their mom returned, and then, do you think I said anything? Well I’ll leave you wondering about that, but I’d love to know if you would have said anything?
I do know this: we can’t ever assume because we are in public our kids are safe; kids disappear from public places every day. Never let your kids out of your site in crowded public places, and be prepared in case you get separated. Don’t assume it won’t happen to you. Have a plan for where your child should go, who they should look toward for help, and most of us don’t carry our full purses and wallets with us to public venues like that, but at least make sure you have a recent picture of your child that can be copied and distributed if you did find yourself in need of assistance to help locate your child (even a photo on your phone is better than nothing). And teach your kids that screaming “help, this person is not my parent” is okay if a stranger is trying to take them… the point is to make a scene and get a safe adult to intervene and stop them! Let’s hope it never happens, but you and your child want to be prepared, just in case! Here’s to a healthy and safe rest of summer from your Monique Burr Foundation for Children friends!