Brisbane boasts fantastic family-friendly events all year round, but as winter draws to a close and we launch into spring, we’ll see it come alive with the best events that the city has to offer.
Brisbane city is offering more and more events as each year rolls around, giving us an endless list of things to look forward to. Last week we said “see you soon” to the Royal Queensland Show, affectionately known as The Ekka, for another year, but there is no slowing down with activities. This month coming we’re looking forward to the Brisbane Festival, Sunsuper Riverfire, football finals, and of course the holiday season which, as always, will be jam-packed with festive activities.
Whilst events such as these are fun for the whole family, we have to remember that exciting events come with huge crowds which can pose safety concerns for parents, especially those attending with younger children.
Our security personnel have been in attendance at every kind of event you can imagine – from music festivals, to private functions and huge stadium events, so it’s fair to say that we know a thing or two about the best strategies for staying safe within crowds, whether large or small.
So, how do you keep your kids safe in a crowd? Would your children know what to do if they were separated from you at an event?
To help make your event experience easier, we’ve chatted to our team members and come up with what we believe are some useful tips for keeping your kids safe at any large family-friendly event. You might also find that these tips come in handy for shopping centres, amusement parks, beaches and other popular public venues.
Here are our 6 top tips for keeping your children safe at large events:
1. Talk S-A-F-E-T-Y
If you’re attending a large event with your child for the first time, it’s a good idea to chat to them about safety (if you hadn’t already). Explain what the event is, how many people are expected to be there, and the plan for the day so that they are not overwhelmed when they arrive. It might also be worth running through a few ‘what if we get separated scenarios’ and ensure that they understand how to respond if they get separated from you.
Game idea: Play some appearance-focussed games on the way to the event. Ask, “What am I wearing?” and “What do I look like?”. Without children even realising, this will put a fun focus on important information. Remember that,should you get separated, they will be looking for you too.
2. Stand out from the crowd
At large-scale events, there are bound to be hundreds of children present. Make your kids stand out from the crowd by encouraging them to wear a bright t-shirt, or a piece of clothing that easily identifies them. Additionally, make sure your children have your contact details including a parent, or guardian’s full name and mobile number. Whether you use a wristband, place a notecard in their pocket, pin on a sticker, or even write it on their arm, just make sure it’s easy for your kids, or security staff, to contact you should they get lost.
CAP Security Tip from Paul (Sunshine Coast Security Guard): If you attend an event with assigned seats – a theatre, concert or sport game for example, be sure to give your child their seat ticket. That way, my colleagues and I, and event ushers, can locate the rest of the group, and ensure the children get back to their seat safely.
3. Snap a photo
Mobile phones have made it even easier to take photos while out and about, and family outings present the perfect opportunity to capture great memories. We found that a popular tip is to take a picture of your children before you leave the house. If you are separated from your child when you are out, a digital photo can be utilised by police to immediately get your child’s appearance out to other law enforcement officials.
4. Mark the ‘home base’
When you arrive at the event, keep an eye out for a communal area that you and the family can recognise, and designate as a “home base”, just in case someone wanders off in the wrong direction. An ideal meeting spot is an obvious landmark, or an information desk.
Best meeting spots for upcoming events:
Sunsuper Riverfire: Remember that Riverfire is one of Brisbane’s most crowded events, so it’s definitely worth planning ahead if you’re going with the family. If you plan on attending the event in South Bank, The Wheel of Brisbane is a central, and obvious meeting spot that can’t go unnoticed.
5. Introduce the ‘safe strangers’
Teach your children to identify help if they become separated from you. When you arrive, introduce your children to examples of ‘safe strangers’, or safe people at the event. To children, any adult might mean help, but unfortunately, not every adult will have the right intentions. It’s important for parents to teach their children how to distinguish between a regular adult, and a safe adult who will act responsibly and assist them. We suggest pointing out policemen, parents with children, event staff at information desks and security guards.
Safe strangers at stadium events: Events at Suncorp Stadium and the Gabba are supervised by a range of staff including crowd control, security guards and event ushers. Encourage your children to seek assistance from these personnel if they get separated from you. CAP Security guards are trained to deal with a range of situations, even those that are difficult or uncomfortable, so remember that we are always on hand to assist, and ensure the safety of patrons.
6. Stay close, stay together
Losing a child in in the crowd can be extremely stressful and upsetting for everyone involved. Undoubtedly, the easiest way to keep track of your children at a large event is to never purposefully separate. We recommend that if you have to queue for anything, be sure to queue together, escort your child to the bathroom, hold hands, and don’t let your children go unsupervised.
Should the unthinkable happen and your children become separated from you, you can be safe knowing that armed with these tips and techniques, you, and your children will know how to remain calm, and stay safe at crowded events.
We hope that you enjoy your next family outing. If you plan on attending the AFL, Brisbane Roar, or NRL games at the Gabba or Suncorp Stadium over the next couple of months, be sure to keep a look out for the CAP Security Services team. Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest events and to keep track of our team.