Mardi Gras can be the best time of year. We are lucky to live in a city that celebrates Carnival! It can also be the worst. Between the crowds, people drinking, and fighting over throws, things can turn out badly. If you’re new to the area or even if you are veteran, these Mardi Gras Safety Tips will help keep your family safe this Carnival season.
Mardi Gras Safety Tips
- Before setting out for parades, make sure you designate a meeting spot in case you get separated.
- Take a picture of your child on your phone in case he or she loses you in the crowd. This way you can show police officers and other parade goers exactly what your child looks like.
- Teach your child what to do in case he loses you. Approaching a police officer or even another parent can be a big help in reuniting you. But your child feels uncomfortable with another stranger talking to them, he should shout, “You are not my parent!”
- Teach your child your name and cell phone number. Some type of ID tag could be helpful for small children. However, do not put this information on the outside of their clothing.
- Children should not run after or directly up to floats.
- Teach children when grabbing beads or a throw off the ground, they should block them with their foot first. This helps prevent fingers from being stepped on.
- When attending night parades, make sure you stand in and park an area that is well lit and populated.
- Never touch the animals such as horses in the parades without asking as it could scare them.
- Children like to be high up so they can see the floats and catch throws. Carrying your child on your shoulders isn’t safe in a crowd that can jostle you. If you prefer to do this, make sure you have someone standing behind you to catch the child in case they fall.
- You can also use a ladder seat for your child. The ladder should be high enough for your child to get a good view. It should be set back from the crowds as many feet as the ladder is tall. An adult should always stand on the ladder behind the children.
- Never run between a marching group, wait until after they pass if you must cross the street.
- When bodyguards and chaperones ask you to move back, do so. This if for your safety as well as theirs.
- Always listen to law enforcement. If they are asking you to do something like stand back, not climb on or over the barricades it’s not because they want to be jerks, it’s for your safety.
- Never fight over throws. It’s just not worth going to jail or the hospital over a 2 cent bead or toy from the dollar store.
- Attach a glow stick to your child or hang a glow necklace around your child’s neck. This helps you and other people see him or her!
- Be aware of all parish ordinances regarding ladders, tents, glass containers, grills, etc. : Jefferson Parish (starts on page 12) and Orleans Parish
Have fun and stay safe out there!
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