9 Theme Park Health and Safety Tips!

BY: - 15 Apr '14 | Home

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Summer will be here before we can pack away those winter clothes.  We know you’re looking forward to the fabulously fun family vacation, but we also know there’s a theme park visit in your near future.  (lol)  We all love the rides, shows, funnel cakes and other theme park treats and being in the sun while visiting theme parks.  But, there are a few things we all need to remember to avoid a medical emergency while visiting a theme park.  We’ve put together a few tips to help keep the family in top shape while at your favorite theme park.

  1. Establish a family meeting point.  Soon after you enter the park, go over the park’s map and establish a ‘family meeting point’ just in case you get separated.  I
  2. Take pictures of the kids. It’s also a great idea for Mom & Dad to take pictures of the family and the kids separately on their cell phones.  This will be crucial information if one of your kids is separated from you at any time in the park and park personnel need a current photo of the child.
  3. Stay cool by drinking plenty of water.  3-4 days before your park visit, increase your water intake. This way your body will be comfortable with all the water you’ll drink at the park.  Remember water is the best way to fight de-hydration and heat stroke.  Sodas and frozen drinks like slurpees/icees are no substitute for good old water.
  4. Protect yourself from sunburn.  When dressing for the day, apply a waterproof and sweat proof sunscreen.  This goes for every family member including baby Bobby. (lol) Re-apply the sunscreen throughout the day as you ride rollercoasters and water rides.  Invest in a sun visor or sun hat for the ladies to help block out those brutal sun rays.
  5. Also leave the sandals at the hotel.  Wear a good, comfortable pair of sneakers with socks.  The heat off the park pavement can cause a terrible rash from all the walking you’ll do while enjoying the park.
  6. Be aware of what is around you at all times.  In addition to sun burn and heat strokes, injuries from collisions (like falling over strollers) are also very common at theme parks.  Don’t block the main walkways/paths, step to the side if you’re lost or need to regroup.
  7. Know your limitations and your health.  Every ride is not for every guest.  In addition to height and weight/size limits there are also health condition restrictions for certain rides.  Please adhere to them if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant.  Get your doctor’s permission first.
  8. Don’t try to cram it. Remember you can’t ride every roller coaster and see every show all in one day.  If necessary plan out the family activities across multiple days so you won’t wear yourself out. 
  9. Have Fun. Most importantly remember to have some fun!  Enjoy!

About the author

Kirstin Fuller wrote 285 articles on this blog.

Kirstin N. Fuller aka The Travelin Diva is a DC based travel journalist bringing fellow travelers the best deals on family vacations, couples retreats, spa getaways, the best travel gadgets and more in BMWK's exclusive Travel Tuesday & Weekend Travel Guide columns. Check out her new travel blog daily for more deals & destinations www.passenger156.com.

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Don’t Blame Your Child…It Really Isn’t Their Fault

BY: - 15 Apr '14 | Home

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If you have been blessed, as I am, to be a parent, you know parenting to be an experience of the greatest highs coupled with the lowest of lows. This is not an exaggeration – parenting is part joy and part pain. Nevertheless, for the lucky parents, parenting is an experience with much more joy than pain.

Joy & Pain

Yet, no matter how lucky a parent may be, joy and pain are not mutually exclusive. Parenting is not like the toss of a coin where you always get heads or tails. Instead, parenting is a currency that when tossed in the air always lands on its side.

In the melodic words of Frankie Beverly and Maze, joy and pain are like sunshine and rain. So too, the pains of parenting are unavoidable.

From the immediate pains of childbirth (something that I fortunately can only provide a second hand report) to the pains of early morning feedings, to incessant crying whenever you need a good night ‘s sleep, to having to change the most disgusting diapers – the beginnings of parenting is brutal. And believe it or not, our little bundles of joy couldn’t change things even if they wanted. We can’t hold them responsible for their actions. They are simply doing what their genetic code mandates.

Happy Days?

Fortunately, at some point, what was painful becomes only a mild inconvenience and joy abounds. Before long, those early morning feedings, incessant bouts of crying and disgusting diapers that our children seem so willing to share give way to the good times. Stretches where you believe your child’s behavior is perfect, moments where they are agreeable and routine occasions where your child considers you the smartest person on the planet.

Then out of nowhere – like Florida Evans grieving the death of James – damn, damn, damn…the good times pass away. The child who seemed only moments ago to believe you to be the master of the universe now behaves like Dr. Evil and wants to have complete and total world domination. As inconceivable as it may seem, this adolescent or young adult standing before you (as if from some alternate universe) is once again like the baby you brought home from the hospital – moody, temperamental and leaving a mess for you to clean up.

While your eyes tell you that your child is an adult that you can trust with the car, be anxiety free when they are away at college, and understand what it means to enlist in the military – your mind is as confused as R. Kelly. Unlike R. Kelly though, you know that something is wrong. Although, your child may look grown, their demeanor and behavior tells you that age is more than just a number.

My Mind Is Playing Tricks On Me

The behavior and decision making regression that your child has taken compared to their physical appearance might make it feel like your mind is playing tricks on you. Someone’s mind is certainly playing tricks on them but it isn’t your mind or the Geto Boys. Your child’s mind or more accurately their brain is playing tricks on them.

It appears that the brain and body play a cruel trick on adolescents and young adults. Scientists have uncovered that the critical parts of the brain involved in decision-making are not fully developed until age 25 or so. In lay terms, our children’s brains don’t reach full maturity until they’ve lived for a quarter century.

Your child who looks like an adult is only partially an adult. Their body may say grown but their brain is stamped undeveloped. So you aren’t imagining things when you consider your child’s decision making skills to be impaired because their decision making abilities are challenged.

Exacerbating a child’s poor decision making abilities are their peers. Neuroscientist have discovered that a twenty year old is 50 percent more likely to do something risky if two friends are watching than if he’s alone. This might explain the prevalence of many societal issues that plague our children. Adolescents and young adults make poor decisions because they are grown on the outside and undeveloped adults on the inside.

Make Your Own Luck

Now you know why adolescent children and young adults appear to revert to behavior similar to newborns. Yet despite the cruel joke our genetic coding plays on us, not all parents suffer the same quantity of parenting pains. Parents who understand that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” give themselves an opportunity to experience more joy.

By doing the following, parents can increase the opportunities for joy by preparing themselves for the eventuality of raising someone who looks grown but is not mentally grown:

  • Being attentive to the people children associate with especially their peers who – as you now know – also suffer from undeveloped brains.
  • Providing additional nurturing and eliminating the custom of putting children out of the house just because they turn 18.
  • Granting children adult freedoms without ignoring the need for responsible and vigilant parental supervision.
  • Admitting openly that those who look like adults are not always ready for the adult world – even our own children.

Thanks to science we now know that cleaning up a child’s mess, enduring incessant whining, and suffering sleep deprivation is part of the constant joy and pain of parenting. A joy and pain that begins at birth and continues to at least age twenty-five.

So the next time your child says “it’s not my fault” -there may be some truth to their explanation. Their bad behavior and poor decision making might really be the fault of someone else or more accurately something else – our cruel genetic code.

About the author

Nathaniel Turner wrote 21 articles on this blog.

Nathaniel A. Turner, J.D. is the author of "Raising Supaman", a collection of life lessons written by a father to his son. Nate holds degrees in Accounting, Theology, History and Law. Nate blogs at The Raising Supaman Project which exists to CHANGE THE WORLD one parent, one child at a time.

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