A large crowd outside.

Ways to help stay safe in a crowd

Consider these tips for staying safe in large crowds like sporting events or concerts.

There may be safety in numbers, but attending busy sporting events, concerts and other large gatherings may not come without risks. Help protect yourself and your family from a crowd crush, injury, illness, pickpockets and possible anxiety in large crowds by considering the following tips.

How to protect yourself from a crowd crush

A crowd crush happens when a large group of people end up squished together in a confined space and don’t have much, or any, room to move. It can quickly become a dangerous situation, so it’s important to know what steps you might take.

  • Keep your eyes open, see where the crowd thins and make your way out if possible.
  • Try to remain upright, as a crowd crush can cause people to fall and become trampled.
  • Position your arms in front of your chest like a boxer so that your lungs have room to breathe.
  • Try not to panic and save your breath.
  • Move away from barriers unless you can use them to safely escape. Barriers can be dangerous because you may get crushed against it and not be able to breathe.

Help prevent injury

When in a large crowd, keep these tips in mind.

  • Locate and identify your exits.
  • Consider leaving if the crowd seems to be getting out of control.
  • Don't wear loose clothing or accessories that could become tangled or pulled.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes and keep the laces tied to help prevent tripping.
  • Avoid standing on or near structures that could collapse.
  • Walk around big crowds rather than pushing through them.
  • Leave early or late to avoid the rush when the event is over.
  • If you're caught in a moving crowd, walk sideways or diagonally to make your way out.

Stick together and communicate

  • See that your phone is fully charged and turned on before the event. You may want to program it to vibrate and ring.
  • Try to stay with your group if possible.
  • Discuss two recognizable places ahead of time where you can meet your group if you become separated.
  • Look for posted and recognizable signage to help find your way.
  • Locate ushers or security at the event for help or information.

Child safety in large crowds

  • Keep a diligent eye on your children.
  • Dress your group alike or in bright-colored, unique clothing.
  • Before leaving the house, take a photo of your child with a camera or phone. If you become separated, you will have an up-to-date photo of your child and what he or she is wearing to give to officials.
  • Remind younger children to avoid strangers and help them identify police officers or officials to go to if they were to become lost.
  • Place your phone number in your child's pocket in case you're separated.
  • If you find yourself in a crowd crush with your child, try to put them on your shoulders so they are above the crowd and can breathe.

Avoid illness

  • Stay hydrated by drinking water and electrolytes to help avoid a heat related illness.
  • Try to keep your hands away from your face.
  • Wash your hands often, especially before and after eating or using the restroom.
  • Avoid sitting or standing near individuals who appear sick.

Deter pickpockets

  • Try to carry only your identification, cash and one credit card.
  • Carry important items in your front pockets.
  • Wrap a rubber band around your wallet so it's more difficult to remove from your pocket.
  • Choose a purse with zipper, button or clasp closures and a strap that hangs across your body.
  • Consider using a radio frequency identification (RFID) blocking wallet to help protect your cards. This technology can help protect your personal information from digital theft by blocking radio waves.

Check out more helpful safety tips like road tripping with your pet, first-time flyer safety or driving to Mexico.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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