According to current research over 1 million kids now cruise the high seas every year. While the reality is that many cruise lines have come a long way in implementing kid-safety measures with an always expanding array of amenities and services to guard their safety and help parents keep track of them, it’s important for parents to carefully consider their kids’ safety on a cruise as well.
1. One of the most important things you can do with your kids is to attend the safety drill and keep the tone serious. Then, back up that drill with practice of your own to be sure the kid can find their muster station on their own (there’s no need to return to the cabin if there’s no time because there are life jackets at the kids’ clubs, muster stations, and in the lifeboats).
2. Another thing you can do with your kids, especially those that are older and will be away from you at times, is remind them about ‘stranger danger’. Molestation and rape are not uncommon on cruise ships – for adults and for children. The risk is no greater (and no less) than if they were in their neighborhood, school, or playground.
3. Another important thing to do with those who are tween or teen-age is make sure they can find their way back to the cabin. Hey, these ships are floating cities, so spend some time figuring out how best to get around the ship so they can find their cabin, and you, when they need to.
4. The last thing that’s important to do with your kids is make sure they follow the ship’s posted rules (if the sign says no swimming, then no swimming) and wash their hands as often as possible (to avoid norovirus).
It’s difficult to think of the awful stuff that can happen when you’re trying to relax and have fun, but these reminders can make an emergency situation easier for your kid to handle.