Mardi Gras is a time for fun, family and revelry! Remember to be safe and consider the following safety tips so you can let the good times roll this carnival season.
General Safety Tips:
- Bring your ID, insurance card and cash
- Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and note that large crowds can affect cell phone usage.
- Wear comfortable, closed toe shoes
- Check the weather report and layer clothing appropriately
- Watch where you’re walking! Sidewalks and streets can be uneven. Beads and other trinkets can cause you to slip or trip.
- Make a plan to get to and from the parade route
- Choose a designated meeting place if you get separated from your group.
- Eat a filling meal before going out
- Pack a bag with the following:
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
- First Aid kit
- Poncho or umbrella
- Know where the closest medical facility is
- Know where the closest restroom is located
Children’s Safety at Parades:
- Pack a bag for the day that includes everything your child may need (diapers, hand sanitizer, snacks, drinks, etc.)
- Always keep children within your line of sight. Never leave them unattended.
- Be aware of what your children are catching. Toddlers and infants can choke on beads and trinkets.
- Make sure children stay out of the street when a parade is rolling.
- Avoid putting your child on your shoulders. A child can easily get knocked over and adults can lose their balance or trip/slip.
- Ladder seats are a safe way for children to watch a parade. Ladders must be placed as far back from the street as they are tall. Always have an adult on the back of ladder for safety and ladder stability.
- Choose a designated meeting place if you get separated.
- Teach your children to find a police officer if they get lost.
- Young children should have identifying information sewed inside their shirt or jacket, including their name and mom/dad’s contact phone numbers.
- Take your child's picture with your cell phone before you head out for the day. If the worst happens, you can show police exactly what the child looks like and what they are wearing.
If you choose to drink:
- Keep track of your drinking and pace yourself.
- Eat food (especially protein) and drink water throughout the day
- Know the source of your drinks. Don’t accept drinks from strangers.
- Sweet drinks (daiquiris, hurricanes, margaritas) can mask the taste of alcohol so you are less aware of how strong the drink is
- Mixing alcohol and energy drinks increases the risk of dehydration and alcohol overdose because caffeine masks the effects of alcohol.
- Have a plan to get home. Appoint a designated driver or save the number of local cab companies in your phone. Do not ride in the car of an intoxicated driver.
Signs of Alcohol Overdose:
- Mental confusion
- Cold, clammy, bluish skin
- Vomiting uncontrollably
- Breathing slowly or irregularly
- Passed out and can’t be woken up
- Heart rate is slow or irregular
If you suspect alcohol overdose:
- Call 911. Never assume the person will sleep off alcohol poisoning.
- Try to keep the person sitting up. If the person must lie down, place the person on his/her side to prevent choking or aspiration on vomit
- Do not leave the person alone