Visitors and residents alike are often caught off guard when traveling in unfamiliar neighborhoods. Visiting public areas can spark encounters that may come with some unexpected dangers. Here are a few tips for families to stay safe and enjoy the beautiful LA culture without making any serious missteps.
Back Yard Swimming Pools
Within the city limits of Los Angeles, you’ll see from above that it has a pool in almost every backyard. These pools are not public and not supervised. Although there are laws that require homeowners to keep a secure fence around an open body of water, homeowners rarely know if they have left a gate open. If your family is visiting a home in Los Angeles with an open backyard pool and you have a little swimmer, it’s best to have a floating suit or attachable vest available during your visit. Even the most attentive lifeguards aren’t always effective at supervising every child in a crowded pool. A watchful and involved parent is always the best way to stay safe. Jump in and be there for safe, quality time with your tot.
All through Los Angeles, there are great hiking trails and off-road adventures to enjoy. However, when hiking, it’s easy to brush up against some pretty nasty unexpected surprises in the wild chaparral. The trails provide breathtaking views that will thrill visitors and residents, but it may be smart to look down, too. There are several wild snakes known to live in the local mountains, an occasional coyote or mountain lion, and poisonous greenery everywhere. It’s smart to wear long sleeves and lots of repellant and sunscreen. A large brimmed hat would be a wise addition to your wardrobe. In some mountain trails, cell phone service can get spotty so bring a compass and a lot of water and snacks to keep you going. Temperatures can soar, so consider that when you plan your adventure.
The beaches of Southern California look so inviting but not every beach is public. In fact, some exclusive areas of the Malibu coastline are hard to access and even have locked gates. It’s best to locate the beach you want to visit before you venture out; you’ll want to choose the beach that has the amenities you value most. There is usually a hefty parking fee even at the “free” beaches, so bring a little cash. Some beaches are better for little kids while others are great for radical waves. Be aware that only the public beaches provide lifeguards. Many beaches allow swimming but provide no supervision. Although we love to think of running through the sand in bare feet, it’s best to have sandals or water-shoes for protection since there may be unseen dangers in the sand. Keep an eye out for broken glass, hypodermic needles and other hazardous items that may have found their way onto the beach.
Each day, thousands of families come from all over the globe to partake in the adventures offered at the theme parks in Los Angeles. With the excitement of seeing these amazing park exhibits, we can forget some basic rules to keep the family safe. Scope out the park and go over the map with all family members. Set a place to regroup should someone get lost. Locate the first aid area in case of an injury and bring bottled water, sunscreen and cash. Get a locker for heavy items or valuables. Some rides are very wet and your fancy electronics will not survive the trip if you choose to carry them on every ride.
Driving Around LA
The city is a vast metropolis of roadways, freeways, routes, highways and bridges that would take a Ph.D to explain. The LA freeway system is a daunting expedition into the craziest maze outside of New York City. If you are brave enough to climb into a rental car, then make sure it has GPS and you buy extra insurance because the roads are paved with good intentions but rarely clearly marked streets. Certain areas charge exorbitant fees for parking while others offer ways to park and ride on the metro or bus lines. Each destination comes with options that may affect the overall experience, so it’s always best to plan every trip carefully. It’s illegal to text and drive; you must use “hands free” cell phone devices and wear your seatbelt at all times. Watch for parking restrictions as they can cost a bundle to the unsuspecting visitor.