My book, What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers, is book offering strategies for children, teens, and parents to empower them to stay safe in a world that presents all sorts of temptations and risks for them. There are many scenarios and activities which can be of concern for parents in regard their children’s safety. One such scenario is attending concerts or music festivals.
Teens love going to concerts, and more and more preteens who enjoy music performed by musical artists whose music is directed to the younger set, such as Ariana Grande or Katy Perry, also want to attend concerts. Nothing can guarantee a child's safety at a concert or anywhere else for that matter. However, there are steps parents can take to minimize any routine problems preteens and teens may encounter. I have presented below five strategies to help with that.
Preteens or tweens should never attend concerts alone.
Children of this age should always have parent or adult supervision at concerts. Even teenagers can benefit from an adult presence. If a parent accompanying a tween or teen is embarrassing to him or her, parents should purchase tickets a row or two behind the child and his or her friends. With such a strategy, parents can be there if they are needed without being on top of them.
Once parents feel confident that their teenagers are old enough and mature enough to see a concert without adult supervision, parents should make sure that they go with friends so they can look out for one another.
Always designate a meeting place.
Decide where your kids should meet if they get separated from you or their friends. It is a good idea to size up the concert or festival venue before the music begins. This is especially important at festivals, clubs, or other general-admission concerts where everybody tends to wander about.
Prepare for any possible emergencies, especially big emergencies.
Power outages, unexpected thunderstorms, a sudden illness or injury affecting a performer, and, tragically, even terrorist threats -- any number of situations might force an abrupt cancellation or exit from the concert Always be familiar with the location of emergency exits are. Know where the security guards are. Stay calm, stay together, don't push or get pushed.
Prevent potential problems.
Be alert to suspicious behavior and self-destructive behavior and notify an usher or guard to such behavior. "If you see something, say something."
Likewise, remind our teens to keep an eye on their wallets and bags, water bottles or sodas, and tell them to never accept a drink or a snack from a stranger.
Anticipate needs and bring the essentials.
Make sure your teens and tweens have memorized key phone numbers in case they lose their phones or use up battery power while taking video. They should be equipped with sunglasses and sunscreen for outdoor concerts, as well as tissues (concert restrooms often run out of toilet paper) A small bottle of anti-bacterial hand gel might be a good essential to take along too.
Make sure their cell phones are fully charged. It might be a wise idea to have them call or text to check in with parents at a point in the concert. In addition, they should always have cash for emergencies.