Last summer I spent the day at Big Surf Waterpark in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. Of all the waterparks I have visited, I have to say I was impressed with not only all that Big Surf Waterpark had to offer, but also its cleanliness and safety precautions! Who better to ask for safety tips than someone who spends their day watching kids at the waterpark and puts safety first in their own facility?
When I met Darin Keim, the general manager of Big Surf Waterpark, I could tell he not only cared about his waterpark, but also wanted the visitors to have a good time. He took great pride in his facility and keeping his facility clean and safe, while giving me a behind the scenes tour of his facility and I mentioned to him that his bathrooms were so clean, he chuckled that he owed that to his wife and having two young children himself.
I asked Darin to share a few tips what he would tell a new parent bring their child to the waterpark for first time —
here’s his advice:
Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen….I believe he means you should wear lots of sunscreen!
Wear water shoes, little feet burn easily and remember to put sunscreen on your child’s feet, it tends to wear off faster than any other place.
Do Not leave your children unattended, they are your responsibility.
Take a picture of your child on your phone in their swimming attire, if they get lost it can be hard to remember what they had on and a picture will make it easier to find them.
Have a common meeting place if they are separated.
Make sure they eat a good breakfast before they leave and drink plenty of fluids, kids get distracted and don’t like to eat.
Change swim diapers frequently.
For moms– Leave your jewelry and expensive sunglasses at home or in a locker, if it comes off in the water it is generally impossible to retrieve.
Lastly Darin shares, it is my opinion that plastic water wings are unsafe in any application. If a child cannot swim they should wear a lifejacket. My park does not allow any floatation device that is not US Coast Guard approved we have lifejackets for use free of charge.
I will add to Darin’s list of things to know before you go to the waterpark.
When you arrive locate the bathrooms, it never fails running water and toddlers seem to create the urge to potty.
Keep your sunscreen out of the sunlight, it can become hot fast and actually burn your child.
If you take water bottles in make sure they keep cool as they can also burn you when they become hot.
Cameras, phones, and electronics easily get over heated.
Follow the age rules for the rides, like the Big Surf Waterpark there are rides for little ones and big ones, keep safety in mind when allowing your children to ride.
Hats or Sunscreen on those little heads….who wants a sun burnt brain?
Swim Shirts may seem silly, but they help protect those little bodies.
Hydrates, Hydrate, Hydrate….kids tend to drink pool water, even though that is gross, it happens and usually causes a bellyache. Offer plenty of fresh water during your visit to help reduce this problem and its reaction!