Kids on Shoulders
In Walt Disney World, a recurring problem is parents who think it is a normal practice to hoist their children up on their shoulders so that they can get a better view. Not only is this dangerous, it is highly disruptive to other guests – especially if they are trying to watch fireworks or another show.
Putting a child on your shoulders is just plain dangerous. I have heard stories about kids who fell off their parents shoulders and broke bones from their legs to a skull fracture. I also heard a story about a Dad who tripped and to keep his child secure on his shoulders, he gripped her leg so hard that he caused a hairline fracture. I understand these stories are not the norm but just the thought of injuries like these make me very annoyed whenever I see a kid on their parents’ shoulders.
Not only is it dangerous for the child, it can be highly annoying for other theme park guests. Just imagine – you have staked out an awesome spot for a fireworks show such as Illuminations or Wishes and once the show begins, your view is obstructed because a parent in front of you decides to put their kid on their shoulders. No one wants to watch a kid’s back instead of the fireworks! At the very least, parents should take a look around them to make sure they are not obstructing anyone’s view behind them.
I can remember when I was a teenager, my sister and I went to watch Sorcery in the Sky at Disney’s MGM Studios (old school shout out – hey!!!). If you remember this show, then you know that people used to sit in front of the Chinese Theater so that everyone had a good view. I will never forget when one Dad decided to stand – and he was in the middle of the crowd. He put his child on his shoulders and the crowd behind him started yelling at him to sit down. This guy was SO stubborn that he stood the entire time and it was very clear that he heard the crowd yelling. He kept turning around and giving people the evil eye. I have met some stubborn people in my life but this guy takes the cake (and no, the cake is not a lie…)!
There are things that parents can do in lieu of carrying their kids on their shoulders. First and foremost, stake out a good spot for fireworks at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before the show. Of course, this is difficult because kids don’t like to wait for things or stand still but there are still options. Bring some activities for the kids to do while they wait such as handheld gaming systems, coloring books, mad libs, etc. Or, you can always have 1 parent hold the spot but keep in mind that if anyone comes to stand near you, you should let them know that you are holding a spot and how many people you are expecting. Parents can also hold their child on their hip instead of their shoulders. Yes, I understand this is very hard on your arms if your child is older and weighs more but just imagine how awesome your arms would look!! There are also child “backpacks” such as the ERGO baby carrier and the Deuter child carrier. Please parents, keep your kids safe and try some of these alternatives to putting your kids on your shoulders.
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