Things to Think about Before You Take the Kids to an Amusement Park

We took our children to Disney World when our youngest son was 3. My husband was obsessive compulsive about not losing him in the crowds, so he carried him everywhere on his shoulders. This caused my husband to have neck and shoulder pain, and also resulted — if you can believe this — in him losing our son. That’s right. He looked at me in a panic-stricken state and said, “I can’t find Justin!”

“He’s sitting on your shoulders, you knucklehead,” I replied. Many years later we still laugh about that.

The fact is there are things parents need to think about before taking children to Disney or any amusement park. Here are a few to consider.

by: Teresa Bell Kindred

10 Things to Consider Before Taking Kids to an Amusement Park

1. Be a cautious parent when choosing amusement rides and water slides for your child. Amusement parks and water slides are businesses who want to make money. Yes, they want their customers to feel safe, but it’s still just a business. If something looks risky, investigate it. Ask questions. Do your research before you go. If it looks risky, it probably is.

2. Watch the ride with your child before they get on it. It’s much easier to tell a child ‘no’ they can’t ride something than it is to let them get on and suddenly decide they shouldn’t ride it.

3. Always obey minimum height, age, weight and health restrictions. They put those restrictions there for a good reason: safety.

4. Don’t put children on rides they’re afraid of. You never know if they may suddenly decide to get off!

5. Always use the safety equipment provided, but be aware of its limitations. If it doesn’t look strong enough to restrain your child, it probably isn’t.

6. Show children where to place their hands and feet if they are riding something that has open sides, or their feet are suspended.

7. Teach small children what to do if they get separated from you. I once saw a lady who had twin boys on a leash of some sort. I thought that was terrible … and then I had twin boys, and suddenly it didn’t seem like such a bad idea.

8. Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right for your child, don’t let them do it. You are the parent, and your instincts are usually correct when it comes to the safety of your child.

9. Prepare fun activities in case of long wait times. Kids get antsy, especially during a long wait, so get creative and pass the time.

10. Take sunscreen or raincoats (check out the weather forecast). More than one trip to an amusement park has been spoiled because the kids got sunburned or soaked during a rainstorm.