3 steps to keep kids safe during festival season


When it comes to staying safe with your family – whether it’s at a festival, a movie theater, or a beach resort – safety experts say families should always start off their day with a plan.

“This applies to anything – safety, environment, weather, crime,” says Sgt. Fay Gordon who is with the Counter Terrorism Unit at the Columbus Division of Police.

Sgt. Gordon says there are 3 simple steps parents can teach their children:

  1. Communication
  2. Scout out exits
  3. Ask for help

“Consider the fact, whether it’s a weather emergency, a technological emergency, lights could go out, power could go out, cell phones can fail,” explains Sgt. Gordon, who says setting up a meeting location and specific times to check in are critical before you head out the door.

The second step is to make sure you look for all the exits in the building, such as movie theaters and concert venues.

“Look for other ways to leave the building other than the way you came in,” explains Sgt. Gordon. “The reason for that is because you may not be able to go out the same way you came in if there’s some sort of emergency. Your life may depend on finding another way out of that location.”

The third and final sept is to talk your children through *how* to get help.

“Instill in them there’s no need to panic, explains this is what you need to do, go get help, don’t just walk around forever,” says Sgt. Gordon. He suggests walking younger children through the venue upon arrival so they physically see exit doors and where to find emergency personnel.

Sgt. Gordon says counter-terrorism planning goes into every major event in the city of Columbus, although he wouldn’t provide exact details. However, Sgt. Gordon says there are many resources for families to find safety steps to take before the summer season starts.