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Pertinent Tips: Parade Safety

by Lori Sciame | June 3rd, 2014 | Preschool, Safety

paradeSummer…’tis the season for hometown parades!  Almost every weekend across the United States, families can take in a parade.  These community celebrations provide fun and entertainment for all ages, and they include everything from bands and clowns, to fire engines and horses.

A parent would like to think parades do not pose any safety hazards to preschoolers; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Many young children have been injured at local parades. To prevent your own child from being injured at one this summer, read the following pertinent safety tips.

Mini-Car Catastrophe

Mini-cars often zoom across the parade route.  Grown men, stuffed into these impossibly small vehicles, criss-cross the street and travel in dizzying patterns, all at a high rate of speed.

Given the impulsive nature of little children, they tend to run closer to objects of excitement.  They do not understand the dangerous consequences of doing so.

I’ve seem many close calls between young children and mini-cars, the most recent at a Memorial Day Parade in my hometown. Unfortunately, children have ben actually hit by these vehicles; therefore, when the Shriners (and other groups) bring mini-cars to a parade, enjoy the show, but keep a safe distance!

Choking Hazards Abound

Food intake by preschoolers should be monitored at all times, especially during parades.  One thing children love about a parade: the candy!  Sadly, kids will pop a piece of hard candy in their mouths, then continue to talk (or jump around).  This can lead to the candy becoming stuck in the windpipe.

While most cities and towns frown upon the tossing of hard candy to the crowd, some participants still do so.  For safety’s sake, do not allow little ones eat hard candy while they feel excited about the parade unfolding before them.

And always remember, any food can be a hazard if a child does not take small bites, chew properly, and sit still while eating!

Animal Mayhem

Horses often bring up the rear of a festive parade.  While these majestic animals must look huge to a preschooler, a young child will still be mesmerized by the animal’s beauty.

Just like the mini-cars, horses can become a safety threat.  For instance, on the Fourth of July, spectators love to set off loud fireworks.  If they do so when the horses are nearby, they may startle even the most docile animal.  This will cause it to rear or kick — bad news if a small child happens to be close.

Keep a preschooler safe while the horses prance by; keep them FAR from dangerous hooves.

Weather Warning

On hot, sunny days, most parents will cover their children with a good sun block to prevent a painful burn.  They will also provide plenty of cool water to prevent dehydration. Good for them!

On rainy days, vow to keep children safe as well.  If you hear a crack of thunder, even in the distance, head for cover immediately.  Basically, know where go to avoid being struck by lighting.

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