Losing track of young children and even teenagers is a fear that many parents experience when they go to a crowded waterpark. To make sure you can locate all members of your group, you should try these six tips.
Sign Up With RFID
RFID stands for radio frequency identification, and it is becoming an increasingly popular way to keep track of groups with young children at amusement parks. The system involves small bands that each member of the group wears. The bands are encoded with personal information about its owner. At various checkpoints around the park, you can swipe your band to see where the other members of your group are currently located. As a bonus, some systems allow parents to add money to each band, which your child can use for food, games, or souvenirs around the park.
The wristbands can usually be rented for a nominal fee and take a few moments to program when you arrive at the park. It is worth asking whether the park you are going to offers RFID or plans to offer it in the future.
Give Your Group Its Own Signal
A low-tech way to keep track of your group is to make sure that every member of your group has a whistle that they can use if they get separated from your party. Plastic whistles attached to a coiled lanyard and worn snug against a wrist or ankle are safer than whistles worn around the neck, especially if the wearer will be going down waterslides where necklaces can get caught.
Before you arrive at the waterpark, select a special code for your group. For example, two long blows followed by two short blows on the whistle. This special code will help your group recognize one of its own members in case other groups are also using whistles.
Select a Meeting Spot
Before you arrive at the waterpark, select a meeting spot. Once you are there, make sure that everyone knows where the meeting spot is. Additionally, make sure each member of your group knows the official name of the meeting spot so they can tell park officials in case they get lost.
Alternate Between Long and Short Lines
To prevent younger children from getting bored and wandering away, try to alternate between activities that have long lines and ones that are quickly accessible. For example, after going on a ride with a long line, consider sitting for a while and having a snack or walking through an interesting part of the park to get to the next ride.
Play Games While Waiting
Another way to prevent your younger companions from getting bored is to play games while you are waiting in line. There are many games that can be played without supplies and without changing your location. These games, such as "I Spy," and "The ABC Game," not only keep your children engaged and in one place, but they also encourage children to use their imagination and basic problem solving skills.
Make Sure Your Child Knows Where to Wait When They Exit a Ride
Unlike other types of amusement parks, at water parks it is likely that one or two members of your group can go on a ride at a time. This means that half of your group may be waiting in line while the other half has already gone down a slide. Before you start to wait in line for any ride, make sure you pick a meeting place where everyone should wait after they have completed their turn.
The most important part of keeping track of your children at a waterpark is to regularly check and make sure you know where everyone in your group is. Remind yourself to count your group every half hour so that you will know immediately if someone is lost.