Good sense can keep all safe at parades

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 1, 2000

L’Observateur / March 1, 2000

Mardi Gras is supposed to be a fun time, a maker of postive, family-oriented memories for young and not-so-young alike. Along these lines, with carnivalactivities throughout the River Parishes, here are a few suggestions to ensure a safe, sober and fun carnival weekend.

Children especially, but teen-agers and others should never run between or chase floats for beads or throws. Most of the time, the floats are rolling andthe tractor drivers aren’t looking.

Do not crowd the bands or other marching groups and obey the escorts accompanying the bands, who are looking out not only for the band members’ safety but also those of onlookers who could be struck by a drumstick or trombone slide.

Always be aware of pedestrian traffic as you drive near a parade route.

Bicycles and children on foot can come out of nowhere quite suddenly.

Always cross at the marked crosswalks and do not jump barricades.

Beads and throws are cheap plastic items. They aren’t worth fighting over. Ifyou miss one, others will be along. Small children should be watched closely tomake sure they don’t put small items, such as beads or doubloons, into their mouths, as it could cause a child to choke.

When using ladders, do not hook several ladders together and make sure a child is securely fastened. Stay close to prevent a ladder from accidentlybeing knocked over, especially with a small child strapped onto it.

Children should never be allowed to roam unaccompanied, as their curiosity could get them into trouble. Children should stay close and agree on a placeto meet in case they are separated. If a child is lost, notify a deputyimmediately.

Don’t let a child wear a vision-blocking mask. They could step into the path ofa vehicle without knowing it and be badly hurt.

Before parades, some shopping-cart vendors will be selling toys, snacks and other items. Watch what your children buy and beware of possible chokinghazards.

Drinking remains a problem during Mardi Gras. Avoid arguments and neverbring a firearm to a parade.

Drunk drivers are more possible during parade days. Be aware of the otherdrivers and don’t add to the problem by driving while intoxicated. Drunkpedestrians also may stumble into the path of cars, so be aware of that as well.

Keep pets at home, where they won’t get hurt or possibly hurt others.

Common-sense suggestions such as these can help keep Mardi Gras parades a happy memory for all.

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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