EDITOR’S NOTE: Wristbands are an effective and inexpensive way for fairs and other large events and venues who are looking for ways to keep kids safe and re-unite with parents if lost. The “Safe Kids Program” at the State Fair of Texas demonstrates how simply writing parent/guardian contact name onto a wristband and securing to a child’s really works! Read the full story below:
Valerie Carreon, of Dallas, has her hands full when she takes her kids to the State Fair of Texas.
Son Christian, 8, and daughter Jasleen, 5, are quick to pick up a full head of steam when they smell the fair food and they hear the familiar, “Howdy folks!” from Big Tex.
That’s why she was excited to sign her children up for the “Safe Kids Program,” presented by State Farm.
The program consists of wristbands secured to her kids’ arms, containing information like their name, their guardian’s name and a cellphone number for an emergency contact in case they get lost.
“I wish [I knew about this] when we came last week because it was crowded,” Carreon told NBC DFW. “[Jasleen] walked off once, so I wish I knew that last week.”
Carreon is not alone.
None of the parents or guardians NBC DFW spoke with knew about the “Safe Kids Program” wristbands.
Debra Mathis, who has been working at the State Fair of Texas off and on since 1991, is quick to call parents over to her Information Booth to sign the children up.
“Now what are you guys going to do if you get separated from mom?” Mathis asked of the Carreon kids.
“Find a police officer,” they dutifully replied.
“Very good,” Mathis said with a smile.
Her friend, Dallas Police Sr. Cpl. Pearl McDowell, looked on and approved of the long line of young people ushering over for their wristbands.
“Out here everybody is in the festivities,” McDowell said. “And you know you love your children, and you’re not trying to lose them. But things happen.”
Among those in line last Friday were the 24 student council members from Everman’s Johnson Sixth Grade Student Center.
Their teacher and chaperone Jennifer Batis told NBC DFW they had already gone over an emergency contact situation in case one of the students became lost.
But she added that the wristbands simplify things.
“We found out about this, they told us when we came in,” Batis said. “It’s a great idea.”
The wristbands are available at any Information Booth at Fair Park.