As you pack up your king cake, your ladder and your bead bag, don’t forget to go over tips with your family to keep everyone happy and safe. Emergency room physicians at Garden Park Medical Center see preventable accidents every Carnival season. They suggest the following simple, and sometimes obvious, safety guidelines:
- Don’t fight with others for beads.
- Don’t bend down to pick up anything to prevent fingers from getting stepped on by other parade-goers.
- Bring healthy snacks to eat between pieces of king cake.
- Drink plenty of water, especially if you are drinking alcohol.
- Don’t climb on structures to get closer to the riders.
If you have small children:
- Put your name and contact information on their clothing or arms.
- Warn them not to get too close to the floats.
- Be wary of what they catch – especially for toddlers, who could choke on broken beads or the eye of a stuffed animal.
- Set up a meeting spot in case they get lost.
- Tell them to find a police officer if they do get lost or feel threatened by another person.
- Bring plenty of hand sanitizer.
In the event a severe accident or life-threatening injury does occur, the emergency department at Garden Park Medical Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.