Burnley FC in the Community is committed to ensuring that attending activities at a football match is a positive, enjoyable experience for everyone.
When you are thinking about bringing a child to a Matchday experience please consider their age, time of the match, weather, crowds, noise, and emergency planning along with any other plans you make.
Stadium Age Restrictions (football matches)
The Club have a number of rules relating to children visiting the stadium:
Please note: these rules may be amended where a third party use the stadium for non-football events such as other sports or music concerts.
The Club does not have a minimum age restriction on children attending football matches, however it is considered that there are situations and other issues that should be given some careful thought by parents before bringing young children to a match (or other event).
Your child is your responsibility and should be FULLY supervised throughout your visit to the ground.
Football Grounds are large, busy, bustling places. Children can easily get lost and within the ground everything looks the same.
You should always:
• keep children with you and fully supervise them especially when visiting toilets, be prepared to miss some of the football game to ensure you do this;
• have a pre-agreed meeting point organised and on arrival discuss this with the child in case you get separated.
• show them who the Stewards are and ensure that they know that they should go to a member of staff if they are lost, scared, or worried.
Could you and your child cope in one?
Would they be safe in the crowd trying to get quickly out of the stadium all at once?
If you had to get out quickly how would you do that safely and together?
Where is your nearest emergency escape?
Where is your alternative escape route?
Where would you meet up outside the ground?
This should all be considered prior to the game starting, look around you for emergency exits and meeting points and ensure you have a plan just in case.
Risk from Footballs
During the warm up and during the game in all areas of the spectator seating there is a risk of being hit by a ball, there are multiple balls, and these could come from any direction on the pitch and when you least expect it and you are perhaps not focused on the pitch. Footballs are hard and can be hit at force and could cause significant injury.
There is considered more risk behind the goals or near the corner-flags.
STAY ALERT AT ALL TIMES
When a goal is scored the crowd will become very noisy, there will be jumping and some possible surging, how will you ensure that your child feels safe and is not harmed? Try to watch some videos of crowds celebrating goals prior to arriving to help your child understand what happens which may prepare them a little better.
The East Lancashire weather
The English Weather is completely unpredictable, and you should be considering what your child may need throughout their visit:
• High temperatures and strong sunshine are possible, and this could mean you may be stood in full sun for long periods of time.
• Winter games especially at night, may mean sub-zero temperatures, rain, wind, and snow. This may also cause tricky conditions under foot when walking to and from the game.
In extreme weather conditions babies and children respond differently to adults, they can become cold very quickly or dehydrate very quickly depending on the conditions, make sure you make adequate provision. In warmer weather dress appropriately but layer clothing in case it gets colder later, provide lots of drinks and ensure they have a hat and sun cream on and that you bring extra to top up if required. In colder weather or at night, clothe them with layers they can take one off if it’s too much, use at least one more than you are likely to be wearing and they should really have a coat, hat and gloves. Check the weather forecast before you leave and be prepared for it to change and be colder, hotter, or wetter than predicted.
Noise and Language
Football matches are very noisy events, babies and young children’s hearing is more sensitive than adults and consideration should be given to the impact the loud noise may have on your child, maybe you could consider ear defenders, plugs or muffs.
‘After age-related hearing loss, research shows that exposure to loud noise is the second most common cause of permanent hearing loss in the world’.
Young children may also find the cheering, singing and chanting in some parts of the stadium a little frightening consider the parts of the stand you buy tickets in, take advice from the ticket office on the more appropriate areas.
You may also find some spectators occasionally using language that is inappropriate for young people to hear, whilst Burnley FC are committed to tackling this, we cannot guarantee that your child will not hear this. However, There is a Family Stand for families where such concerns are lessened.
We want you and your child to enjoy your visit.
If you are bringing a child to the stadium think about their needs first.
Where the Club officials are concerned that a child may be suffering harm we may decide that we have to refer our concerns to the Head of Safeguarding, Local Authorities Safeguarding Team or the Police.
If you have a concern about a child during a match, contact one of the stewards who will be happy to help or alternatively you can contact:
Burnley FC Head of Safeguarding
Helen is on call at every home game , either on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07714 792507.
Lancashire Local Authority Children’s Social Care Duty Team can also be contacted on 0300 123 6720 or if there is an immediate risk of harm contact the Police on 999.