Safety First When Performing For Kids By: Rob Peters

April 26, 2012 by Rob Peters

When performing for kids, safety is one of the MOST important things you should be aware of, and protecting yourself, your equipment and your attendees is extremely important. If you are performing for kids, Liability Insurance is a MUST (In fact, liability insurance is good common sense for your business, regardless as to if you perform for kids or adults!) But beyond liability insurance, you should be looking at other ways to protect your equipment. This month, we will discuss a few ideas.

If you are performing at a school in an area with a stage, take the stage! Setting up on the floor leaves too many variables to chance, especially if the children in attendance decide that sliding across the floor on their knees is fun. At some point, they will end up sliding across the floor TOWARD the table with your equipment on it. And if they go too far, the will end up under it. So separate yourself from the crowd and entertain from the stage. By being on a stage, you will also add some “star power” and be able to have everyone’s attention when you are making announcements or performing interactive routines.

You should also tape down every cable that is in an area where kids MAY go. Even if you are on stage, if you bring up guests from the audience, you should tape your cables down to avoid a tripping hazard. If you are in an area where tape will not work, there is a use for those bright orange extension cords that most DJs find noticeable. Use them so that people can see where your cables are.

But what happens if you do not have an area for a stage, or you are performing outdoors? Well, orange cones are a good start. You should consider setting up in an area where your equipment will be protected from the elements (as well as an area where power can be easily accessed, and set up a “perimeter” around your setup with the cones so you can have a boundary and space so that the kids know where they can and cannot be. Also, if you need to run an extension cord across an area where guests can run or walk, run a few extra cones along the cord so that nobody trips.

Remember that children are curious, and sometimes when they see something they want to play with, they will grab it. I often find this happening when I work with hula hoops. Putting all of the items you use for your performance BEHND your table and out of sight can help deter children from playing with them until you are ready to introduce them as part of your show.

Watch out for wandering toddlers! Even though I make an announcement prior to my show for parents to watch their children while I am performing, the parents sometimes forget and toddlers end up walking around aimlessly. And usually, if they see toys like hula hoops, bubble wands, etc. they usually come right to my set up and help themselves to these items, even if I am standing right next to them. In such cases, acting kid friendly toward the child will get their attention, and asking them to walk with you as you walk away from these items usually will work. However, if they won’t, making an announcement over the microphone will usually get the parent’s attention, especially if you use “we have a wandering child who wants to be part of the show!” as an announcement. Of you could say “Who does he/she belong to?” Usually there is one parent (even if it is not their parent) who will help you out.

Safety should be one of the most important considerations when performing for any age group. But taking extra precautions when performing for children will help protect them, you, your equipment and your reputation!

Rob Peters Rob Peters (5 Posts)

For over 25 years, Rob Peters has been entertaining audiences of all ages, from weddings to corporate events, kids parties and more. Rob started DJing in 1987 and went full time in 1998, He began doing kids’ events in 2006, and now performs for over 100 weekday kids’ parties each summer. He is the co-owner of Rob Peters Entertainment in Braintree, MA, and runs Bubble Parties, a business program that helps DJs increase their youth event revenue. Rob has been a presenter on a variety of topics for mobile DJs and is the author of The Business Of Mobile DJing from ProDJ Publishing.

Filed Under: DJing School Dances