Water parks have a reputation for being exhilarating summer getaways for children. For parents though, it’s a completely different story. Dangers lurk everywhere in an amusement park.
But this does not mean you should deny your kids the fun. You just need to take sufficient precautionary measures.
Before you make a splash at the water park this summer, do the following:
Recognize Danger Zones
The best part of a water park is that people of all ages can have a good time there. But there are plenty of hazardous zones for children that parents must be diligent in identifying.
The wave pool succeeds tremendously in giving visitors a realistic feel of swimming in the ocean. It’s usually packed, swimmers’ heads bobbing in and out of the water. And when the big wave hits, chaos breaks loose.
Amidst all this, it is very hard to identify a person who is actually struggling against the current. There is also the danger of people pushing you underwater without realizing it.
So, though the thrill of the wave is beckoning you, stay away unless you’re a confident swimmer.
Unfortunately, the most entertaining part of a waterpark is also perilous. The uncontrolled manner in which visitors rush down watersides can cause painful, and sometimes permanent injuries.
The best way to ensure safety on these slides is to follow instructions without question. Parents must verify that their children are tall enough and in the correct weight range for the slide.
Another tip is for adults to test the rides first. They can then gauge whether their kids will be safe on it, and if they’d find it enjoyable.
Basic Pool Safety
Swimming pools have rules not to impede patrons’ enjoyment, but to ensure they’ll be able to come back the next time. So, drill it into yourself and to your children that the following rules are non-negotiable:
Walk, Don’t Run
Zooming from ride to ride is exciting, and containing yourself will be hard. But running on slippery surfaces is how injuries happen. Your footwear must provide a non-slip grip. You can buy water shoes that are also quick-dry.
Don’t Drink the Water
Pool water is chock full of things you don’t want in your body. Make sure this rule permeates your kids’ minds before a trip to the water park. Try to ensure they take breaks to hydrate once an hour, so the compulsion to drink pool water is reduced.
Ingesting a little pool water is not harmful, but do watch out for repeated ingestion.
Younger children will be reluctant to leave the fun and do something as mundane as go to the bathroom, but there’s no other choice. Parents should insist on breaks at least once an hour.
If the child isn’t toilet trained, then they must be wearing leak-proof diapers. Remember to change the diaper at least once every two hours.
Shower Before and After
Though the water is treated, it’s your responsibility to reduce the chances of bacteria from your body getting into the mix. There will be a shower in the dressing room. Put it to use. The shower doesn’t need to be for long. A quick washdown will do.
Rides To Go on Immediately After Lunch
Going on high-intensity rides immediately after eating is a bad idea, especially for children. The lazy river is the best way to wind down after you’ve had lunch. It’s a slow and relaxing ride that will help your digestive system do its job.
You may be an expert swimmer, but there’s always a chance of sustaining injuries from rides. In this case, a trip to the doctor might be inevitable. So, to best protect your bank account, it’s always a good idea to have travel medical insurance or travel insurance for your water park vacation.
Keeping Children Safe
Set a Family Meeting Point
Getting lost is an all-too-common occurrence in crowded places. So, when you first get to the park, decide where everyone will meet if someone is missing from the group.
This works well with middle school-aged children. If you have kids younger than that, it’s a good idea to practice the routine before you even get there. Go over this with them again and again to make sure they understand. Have them repeat back your instructions to be sure.
The common advice is for children to seek a woman with a child for help. Approaching a park security employee is also another good option for younger children. When you arrive, point out one of these employees so your children can identify them.
Choose Bright Swimwear for Children
A good hack for parents is dressing your children in unmissable clothing. Put them in unusual or bright colors. This way, if you lose them, they’ll be easier to spot.
A tip to find unique swimsuits is to shop from boutique stores. If you go to chain stores, odds are there will be other people wearing the same swimwear.
Your child may be a trained swimmer, but you never know what other park visitors may do. Playtime may get rough, which leads to pushing. In these situations, pool floaties can save their lives.
Most parks will allow you to rent life vests for the day. This is a good option if you don’t swim frequently.
Did you know your body loses the ability to self-regulate its temperature while swimming? This is why you feel parched immediately after getting out of the pool. This, combined with the summer sun beating down on you, is a recipe for disaster.
So, make it a point to drink water once every half-hour when at the water park. It’s even better if you add electrolyte powder to your bottle.
Lots of Sunscreen Lotion
Here’s a good rule to follow when putting on sunscreen lotion for water activities: You can’t use too much.
Use a waterproof product that is at least SPF 30. Top it off with lip balm that’s SPF 15 and you’re good to go. Remember that though it’s waterproof, it will stay on for a maximum of two hours if you’re in the water. So, keep reapplying.
Hats are a good way to keep toddlers sheltered from the sun. Sunglasses are another good option. Stick to lighter shades, since dark colors absorb heat.
Another level of precaution is to buy UV-blocking swimwear, especially for younger children.
Take Shade Breaks
Toddlers and infants may have trouble communicating their discomfort. So as a safeguard, take breaks in the shade at least once every two hours. It’s even better if these breaks can be in air conditioning. You can offer indoor activities that allow your children to get a respite. The breaks don’t have to be more than 15 minutes long.
This list might seem like a lot, but it’s always better to be safe. If you strictly follow these suggestions, nothing will hamper you from having a good time.
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