Convention season is in full swing. If you are attending any convention with children, safety should be a very high priority. Here are a few tips on how to keep children safe during conventions.
1. Let children know what they can expect.
You should let your kids know what it is going to be like at the convention. Be sure to talk about what the children may see and hear from the moment that they enter the building, to interacting with guests and vendors, until their exit. Talk about being polite, especially when asking for pictures with cosplayers. Most importantly tell them that they may see people acting in ways which may be against your rules, and insure that they understand that this does not mean that they get a free pass on these rules.
2. Have basic crowd safety rules in effect.
Children who are walking should always be taken by the hand or have a hand on a stroller. Having their hands occupied should stop your child from walking away. There are going to be plenty of things in the vendor hall to pull your child’s attention away from you. There will also be plenty of people dressed as their favorite superhero, or characters from their favorite tv show which will cause them to wander off. Stop this from happening by always knowing where their hands should be.
If you are separated, have your child trained to stay in one place. Also be sure to have your child notice what the convention hall workers are wearing when you are entering the convention. It is important to remember that the employees at the booths do NOT work for the hall or convention center.
If intentionally separating from the group, or if your children are old enough to split off by themselves, make sure that you have a rally point and a meetup time. I even do this with going to the restroom, I simply point to a spot on the floor and say “Meet you right here when we are done.” This gives a clear point to meet back up with the rest of the group.
Do not have your child’s name on the outside of their backpacks (names of monograms are cute, but a stranger can use it to know what to call them).
3. Quickly establish an internal map of the area.
The biggest reason for this map is simply a child’s need for a restroom. Often children need the use of a restroom quickly and do not give you very much time to get there.
Have we missed something? What tips and tricks do you have to be prepared and stay safe with your children in crowds? Let us know in the comment section below. Also share your convention stories with us in the comments below. Don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and Subscribe on YouTube to stay up to date on all our content. Checkout our live broadcasts on Twitch.tv/wethecommittee.