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NEW ORLEANS -- Theft, fights, and lost children are just come of the common safety problems during Carnival season in New Orleans.

While having a good time, parade goers should prepare and practice some important safety steps, and joining the Eyewitness Morning News with more Officer John Dobard of the NOPD's Crime Prevention Unit.

Before you go to the parade:

  • Secure your home by locking up and keeping a light on.
  • Notify a responsible neighbor to monitor your house while you're out.
  • Prepare children for the parade by having them use the restroom.
  • Put your name, address and phone number on a piece of paper and put it in your child's sock.
  • Teach your child how to identify the police if they get lost.

Parking tips:

  • Do not block a resident's driveway.
  • Do not double park.
  • Do not park on the neutral ground.
  • Do not block an intersection.
  • Pay attention to signage on the parade route.

While attending the parades:

  • Do not jump over the police barricades. Ask an officer for permission to cross from one side of the street to the other. The barricades are there for protection.
  • Do not bring a big purse to the parade. Put your personal items in your front pockets. Men should carry their wallets in their front pockets.
  • Stand a safe distance from the floats.
  • Do not run alongside of the floats.
  • Do not follow the bands.
  • Do not throw beads at the riders on the float.
  • Do not put someone on your shoulders if you or that person is intoxicated. Stay away from the street or curb.
  • Ladders should 6-feet from the curb. Secure the ladder to the ground. Do not place ladders in the intersection.

Lost children:

  • If you get separated from your child, notify the police immediately. There will be several 'lost children sites' on the parade route. Provide the police officer with the child's name and a good physical description.

Medical problems:

  • You should carry with you any pertinent medical information regarding your health, as this will help the paramedics tremendously in analyzing your medical condition should you get sick on the parade route.

French quarter rules:

  • Do not urinate in public.
  • Do not flash your body parts in public.
  • Do not drop your pants in public.
  • Do not drink from an open glass or metal container in public.

Important phone numbers:

  • NOPD non-emergency number - (504) 821-2222
  • NOPD emergency number - 911
  • Orleans Sheriff's Voice Response Inquiry System - (504) 827-6777
  • Parking Division/Auto Pound - (504) 565-7450
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