Valleyfair opened over Mother's Day weekend with a new chaperone policy that officials say will help keep people safe at the Shakopee amusement park.

Children and teens 15 and younger must be accompanied by a chaperone at least 21 years old in order to enter or stay in the park after 4 p.m. The policy went into effect Saturday and was enforced at Valleyfair's opening Sunday.

"Safety is paramount to Valleyfair," said spokeswoman Melissa Ferlaak. "We want to make sure that everybody who comes to the park has a great family time and that everybody feels safe."

The safety changes were initiated by Valleyfair's owner, Cedar Fair, though there was no specific incident that prompted it, Ferlaak said. Ohio-based Cedar Fair has implemented chaperone policies at most of its regional amusement parks.

Similar policies have been implemented in many parks and other major entertainment venues across the United States to clamp down on unruly and inappropriate incidents that have spiked in the past couple years. The safety measures have been shown to help, Ferlaak said.

Chaperones at Valleyfair aren't required to hang out with the kids, but must remain inside the park during the visit and be available by phone. A chaperone must present a valid government-issued photo ID, and is allowed to accompany no more than 10 youths 15 and younger each day.

Ferlaak said the company has notified its season pass holders and ticket holders of the new change through its mailing list and on its social media channels.

To learn more about the policy, go to Valleyfair's website at