Keep Track of Your Kids at Amusement Parks

ByABC News via GMA logo
July 2, 2006, 3:47 PM

July 3, 2006 — -- Lorna Greenhalgh was left reeling after she nearly lost her daughter at an amusement park. The separation lasted just a little while, but the fear of losing her child has permanently changed the way Greenhalgh visits places like Six Flags or Disneyworld.

"We were at an amusement [park], and I lost her for two or three minutes and it was just horrifying," said Lorna Greenhalgh, who uses the system after having a scare in an amusement park.

According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, 322 million people visited approximately 600 amusement parks in the United States. Because of the size of many of the parks and the sheer number of people who go to them, the possibility of losing a child is real.

Randy Josselyn, the director of admissions of Wild Rivers Water Park said that the park uses SafeTzone, a tracking system which monitors kids at amusement parks.

"We're a huge, huge water park," Josselyn said. "We have multiple areas. And we just want to offer our guests peace of mind."

Evan Gentry said that often times his family has to split up and SafeTzone is a good way to stay in touch.

"We often times have to split up -- one of us with the bigger kids, one with the littler kids," he said. "And you know it's a big park. So to be able to find our where everybody is and locate then is just very convenient."

SafeTzone uses radio frequency technology which almost instantly pinpoints the location of every member of a family whenever a parent or child swipes their SafeTzone wristband at kiosks around the park.

SafeTzone also eliminates the need to carry cash. Parents authorize a specific spending limit and their kids can make purchases at restaurants and shops flashing their wristband not their wallet.

"She just scans it and she doesn't have to come running back carrying wet, soggy money and it's really nice," Greenhalgh said.

And this new technology is making its way across the U.S., SafeTzone is also featured at Dollywood Splash Country, a white water park in Tennessee and Wannado City, an indoor, role-playing theme park in Florida. It's especially popular with teens who crave independence.