Safety, Accessibility & Health Concerns
Providing a safe, accessible and healthy environment in which our visitors can play and learn is a top priority for the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. The following information is intended to answer questions you might have about specific Museum procedure and priorities, and will also provide you with some good general tips.
The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is all-inclusive for the children in the greater Phoenix area and we provide barrier-free access for visitors. Our navigation is bilingual and embossed in Braille and our staff is multilingual as well. Our books and printed resources are not limited to English and Spanish, and we boast a wide collection of languages represented in our learning materials. For our music, dancing and art programs, we represent and teach about a number of different cultures.
Service animals are welcome in the Museum, and we are able to provide wheelchairs and ASL translators with advanced notice provided. You can request these services by calling our main number at 602.253.0501 and pressing zero.
The AzTAP Department of Services for Persons with Disabilities conducted an accessibility evaluation in August 2008 and summarized “the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is the most exceptionally disability-aware arts institution this evaluator has ever surveyed.” We like to hear that.
How does the museum protect our children?
The Museum’s safety policies and procedures were developed in conjunction with the Phoenix Police Department. All Museum staff, floor staff, administrative staff, and volunteers receive background checks. Staff members and volunteers are prohibited from touching a child visitor except:
- In the event of a life threatening injury or preventing a pending accident.
- In order to prevent bodily injury.
- At the request of the child’s guardian.
Stranger Danger – Adults Unaccompanied by a Child
You would think that only people with children would visit a Children’s Museum. However, that is not always the case. Some of these adults are here for meetings with administrative staff. In this case, a staff member greets them at the front door and escorts them to the meeting location. In other cases, adults request access just to see what a Children’s Museum is like. In these cases we always request some form of ID, which we then keep until the visitor has finished their “tour”. They are allotted a certain amount of time for their visit and given a colored wristband for easy identification. Should inappropriate behavior be witnessed or suspected, the Museum has Security staff onsite for these instances.
Being a Children’s Museum, we are acutely aware that children can sometimes wander off by themselves, or adults can lose sight of their child. The Museum has extensive and effective procedures for locating missing children and/or missing adults.
Our evacuation procedures are designed solely with the protection of adults and children in mind. All staff are trained on proper evacuation procedures which includes getting all visitors out of the building in a calm and orderly fashion as well as includes matching up all children with their proper adult.
Children are our most precious gifts and we want to protect them.
What is the Museum specifically doing about the flu virus?
Museum staff have gone through mandatory sanitation/health training facilitated by the Department of Public Heath. On a day to day basis, if a Museum staff member sees a child who appears sick, they will speak to the caregiver about their leaving the Museum for the health and safety of our other visitors.
The Museum respectfully asks that you keep your child home if he/she is not well. Visit us when they are healthy and ready to play and learn with you!
Hand sanitizers – to use or not to use?
Probably one of the most recurring questions that the Museum gets is why don’t we provide hand sanitizers throughout the Museum? The simple answer is that, according to the Department of Public Health, washing your hands the proper way with soap and water is the BEST way to minimize germs! And with 26 sinks in the Museum, we provide ample opportunities to wash in the most natural and productive way! We even provide child height sinks to make it easy for the little ones to get into the fun of washing their hands.
Dirty diapers in the Museum exhibits, hallways, or food areas don’t mix!
Sometimes we find ourselves in the position of having to tell our visitors that they cannot change their baby’s diaper in the Museum space itself. Transfer of fecal germs is of great concern for children and adults alike. Therefore, the bathroom is really the ONLY place to change your baby’s diaper. And you will find a changing table in each of our bathrooms which is sanitized multiple times throughout the day. Please use them and keep all of us healthy!
Why doesn’t the Museum provide paper toilet seat covers?
Wiping a toilet seat dry with a few pieces of toilet paper before you sit down is a healthier practice. If the seat is wet, even a paper seat cover can’t help because the wetness soaks right through the paper and onto you.
Did you know?
…that you should sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, not your hands.
…that hand sanitizers must have a high percentage of alcohol in the ingredients in order to be fairly effective (soap and water is always best).