Living Well

Catch some Mardi Gras safety tips

Patricia Clesi, RN
Catch some Mardi Gras safety tips

It’s Carnival time and no one wants to think about getting hurt. But let’s face it – there are a lot of potential safety hazards amid the revelry through Fat Tuesday. University Medical Center’s Injury Prevention team is here to help with these tips keep you and your krewe stay safe.

Keep parade ladders safe 

If you have a ladder for young children, always place it as far back from the street as the ladder is tall and have an adult stay with the ladder at all times.

Throw me something (carefully!) mister

It is fun to watch the excitement in the eyes of children when they catch throws from the parade’s floats. Keep your guard up for hard-flying thows and remember that throws can be a choking hazard to small children who tend to put everything into their mouths. Also, watch out for beads underfoot that can put children (and adults) at risk of falling.

Stay a safe distance from floats

We get it. Everyone is excited to catch throws. Just remember to only approach a float if  it’s completely stopped and never reach under a float for throws. The floats are amazing, but also very large which makes it difficult for the drivers to determine if it is clear for movement.

Use good horse sense

You don’t realize how beautiful horses are until you are up and close to one at a parade. However, they are strong and unpredictable in a crowd. Riders know their horse’s temperament, so only approach if they let you know it is safe to do so.

Keep little ones close

Children are small, quick and can get lost in a crowd very easily. They can also get pushed into the street with moving traffic in a large crowd. Hold their hands and keep them within you vision. Ideally, there should never be more than 2 children per adult.

Watch out for revelers when driving

Alcohol consumption is very common during Mardi Gras. Alcohol is a central nerve depressant and affects judgement, balance and coordination in addition to many other brain functions. As intoxicated pedestrians walk from place to place, they are at high risk of falling into the lane of traffic. Please be vigilant of pedestrians when driving through streets surrounding the parade route.

Chose a meeting place, in advance, in case someone in the group gets lost.

Due to difficulty in parking, many people attend parades in groups by carpooling or walking to the parades. Like children, adults can also get separated from their group. A meeting place should be set up to avoid someone from being left behind. Unfortunately, when a person wanders alone in the city, they become a high risk of becoming a victim of a crime. Choose a location to meet, if separated, in advance.

Keep your krewe safe. Download our Mardi Gras safety flyer here.