Sten Kirkbak, father of four and co-founder of XPLORA, the watch phone designed to keep children safe when out and about, shares his insights into how to keep kids both safe and happy at a festival this summer…
Festivals can be some of the most memorable experiences that you and your family share. However, every parent’s worst nightmare is losing their child, and so taking your children to a large open space that holds thousands of people can often feel scary. I should know, it was the experience of losing my child in a busy shopping centre that led me to found XPLORA – a device that allows me to contact or geolocate him whenever I need to – in the first place. Parents don’t have to use the latest piece of tech, though. By ensuring that you have laid out boundaries, picked the right event for your family, and set designated meet points should you become separated, there is no reason why you can’t stay safe and have fun while exploring the UK’s summer festivals.
Find the right festival
It might sound like a no-brainer, but picking a festival that is family-friendly is integral to having the best experience possible. Luckily, there are hundreds to choose from. Whether you want a full-blown, head-banging music festival experience or a quieter time surrounded by the nature and wildlife of the English countryside, festivals often come with designated kids’ areas and activities so that you and your family feel comfortable while partying together.
Pack the right gear
As a father of four, I’ve learnt to always expect the unexpected when travelling with my children. To survive a festival I can’t stress enough how important it is to ensure that you have packed clothes that are suitable for whatever weather the English summer may throw at you, and enough wet wipes to last you a lifetime. Kids are also more susceptible to hearing damage, so to keep your child safe while getting as close to the music as you want, snap up a pair of ear-defenders and belt out the tunes together.
Take advantage of kids clubs
The great thing about family-friendly festivals is that there are tons of activities tailored specifically for kids, from nature trails through the woods to making dens and arts and crafts. If you’re at a festival designed for both adults and children, the chances are that while you’re taking care of your kids, your opportunities to do what you want to do will be few and far between. So make the most of these child-specific activities: drop them off, know that they’ll be having fun, and let yourself enjoy a few hours of well deserved me-time.
Remember your boundaries
While festivals can be the perfect time to let your kids develop their sense of independence, remember that it’s okay to have moments where you want to keep them close. When it comes to letting your child feel more grown-up, it is vital that you build you and your child’s confidence slowly, and setting boundaries and designated areas can be the perfect way to do this step by step.
A final thought…
While festivals are an adventure, remember that for your child, the biggest treat of all is spending quality time with you. It doesn’t matter what you do, or where you are, what matters is that you are building memories together. Switch off your phone and go on an adventure. Remember, for your children, you are their biggest rockstar!