Taking the Kids Logo
March 21, 2014
Water safety at resorts, beaches and on cruise ships
Plan your spring break with our special section!
Dear family travelers:

There may be 1,000 kids aboard big cruise ships but not a single lifeguard.


That's not illegal. In fact, it's the industry norm. Disney is the exception to the rule, having lifeguards stationed at its pools and private island.


You may not find lifeguards at many resort pools or beaches either. Laws vary from state to state and country to country.


This even though the Centers for Disease Control reports that every day about 10 people die from unintentional drowning, two of them children. Those between ages one and four are most at risk.


In recent months, two children drowned and two nearly drowned on major cruise ships. Disney, in fact, changed its policy after a four year-old was left brain damaged after nearly drowning in one of its ship's pools.


The American Red Cross has developed a free Swim App that provides parents and kids with water safety tips as well as games. They suggest teaching kids to swim as early as possible.


Forget reading by the pool or talking on your phone. If you are heading off on spring break with kids, especially young ones, you have to be especially vigilant around the water:

  • Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization devoted to reducing childhood injury, suggests you designate a "water watcher" for timed intervals to watch the kids so that one person always has their eyes on them and the others can relax.
  • Alcohol and watching kids at the water don't mix.  Save your drink for when you're not "on duty."
  • Stay within arm's length of young children at a pool or beach. They can get into trouble in seconds. 
  • Use Coast Guard approved life jackets.  Air-filled "floaties" won't cut it. 
  • Make sure older kids who know how to swim always swim with a buddy.
  • Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents if you're at the beach.  (And teach the kids if they get caught in the undertow to swim parallel to shore and once free, swim diagonally toward shore.
  • Sign up for a CPR class. 

When it comes to saving a life in the water, remember seconds count.




And from our partners at Family Travel Forum

Our Kids' Guides Series from Globe Pequot Press continues to grow with new books on Los Angeles and Chicago, just published.  Boston, San Diego, San Francisco and Denver are coming soon!

   Kids Buide to New York City  



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