Keeping Children Comfortable and Safe During Family-Friendly Festivals
Ways to ensure the entire family enjoys themselves at concerts and festivals
Reviewed by: Sarah Hite, MSN, APRN, FNP-C
Written by: Kaylee Fang
As the live entertainment scene is making a comeback to Central Texas, don’t miss out on family-friendly opportunities. Many parents are drawn to events such as Austin City Limits, where children may attend for free. Before the entire family heads out to Zilker Park or other venues, find out how to smoothly plan for the day. UT Health Austin Walk-in Clinic clinician, Sarah Hite, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, shares what to expect for an enjoyable and secure family outing.
What to Know Before You Go
To get a head start at any concert or festival, ensure they get a good night’s rest. Remember your child should get at least 10 hours of sleep to have plenty of energy. Also, don’t forget to get some rest yourself to keep up with the fun throughout the day.
The day of, Sarah recommends keeping an eye on how extremes in temperature, noise, and more may affect your young one. “If you’re planning to bring children to live performances, be aware of how they are more susceptible to everything.”
When attending outdoor venues, they can be exposed to the sun and heat for prolonged periods. Keep your children in the shade as much as possible since they may sunburn quicker than you. Bring your own sun protection because shaded areas at the venue can occupy quickly. Examples of this include wearing hats, sunglasses, and even sunscreen. Young ears are delicate and have far greater hearing than you do. They may experience discomfort or stress from the loud noises.
<br>While your child might be excited to explore around the venue, they can easily drain their energy in the heat. They don’t regulate their body temperature as well as you do. Make your child consume lots of fluids before, during, and after the event.
“If your child is at an age where they can memorize phone numbers, it would be important to teach them how to contact you. Along with knowing what your real name is – not just referring to you as ‘mommy’ or ‘daddy’,” explains Sarah.
Another way to help your child remember your mobile number is to mark it on their arm or hand. You can pick a prominent spot, such as a tree or booth, to congregate if anyone separates from the group. It’s also important to discuss strangers with them. Make sure to tell your child that they should not trust others.
Before you attend concerts or festivals, view the festival website to see what you’re allowed to bring. Consider adding these items to your packing list:
- Blanket/chair to sit on
- Hydration containers
- Ear plugs or headphones
- Antibacterial wipes
- Mini first aid kit
Although not all these items may be allowed at the event you intend on attending, they might be available to get from the vendors. This may feel like a lot to carry, but it’s important to have what you or what your child may need. To reduce the weight of the bag, carry travel sizes or small packaging of things.
Other Helpful Tips
<br>Know the Area
Download or acquire a map before you arrive so you know the layout of the festival grounds. Look for water filling stations, restrooms, medical tents, and vendors around the area.
Plan the Commute
Plan out your way to and from the venue. Access to drop-off or pick up areas, bus routes, shuttles, and other transportation options may be available.
When your child feels tired or cranky, then it becomes challenging for you. It might even be unpleasant for others around you so, you. You may want to consider a back-up plan.
“Your little one isn’t necessarily designed for a long day at a music festival. It might be better to bring them for just a portion of the event and ask a family member or sitter to pick them up and watch them for the remainder of the day,” recommends Sarah.
Create Family Memories
Making the most of your festival experience will require significant flexibility and patience. When something doesn’t go according to plan, go with the flow. Don’t forget to have fun after all the preparation. Your loved ones may look forward to this as a family tradition each year.