Cruises are fun for people of all ages, whether you’re retired, young enough to eat off the kid’s menu, or somewhere in between. A cruise offers a vacation full of fun and relaxation, as well as a way to visit many destinations on a single trip. For those who choose to cruise with their children, the concern may be less about what excursions to go on and more about how to keep your kids safe. This is a natural concern, but rest assured that there are plenty of tips to help keep your kids safe so that you can enjoy your vacation with peace of mind.
Never Leave Kids Alone Near Water
Cruise ships often have a pool on deck as well as hot tubs and soaking areas. — not to mention constantly being on the ocean when on board and close to the shore when off the ship in port. There are a lot of situations where your kids will be near water, so it’s important to always be by their side.
There are many pool hazards to look out for including slips and sharp surfaces, but the big worry is drowning. Most pools will have a lifeguard, but not all lifeguards will be as vigilant as they should be, and some pools may not have one at all. Be sure your child has a life jacket and always has a guardian if they are going to be near a body of water.
Have a Hand Washing Schedule
It’s no secret that one of the big hurdles in a cruise environment is the struggle to stay germ-free. It’s hard enough to focus on clean hands, sanitizing, and avoiding contact with surfaces when you’re an adult, but germs and unclean surfaces are the last things on children’s minds.
Washing your hands often will not only help you stay healthy on your trip, but it’ll also create a hand washing schedule for your kids. You can do this by setting an alarm on your phone or directing your kids to use a sanitizing station each time they see one. Be especially mindful of this around meal times as so many germs can be transmitted through the buffet system.
Teach Kids the Buddy System
Just like any other public place, it’s a good idea to ensure your children aren’t wandering around by themselves. In order to make sure your kids are always safe, encourage them to follow the buddy system. No matter what, whether in port or on the ship, if they are leaving the room, they need to have someone with them. Especially for mums new and old who are looking for relaxation, implementing a buddy system takes the fear out of letting your kids roam while you recline. Rely on older kids, family members, or daycare staff on the ship to help care for the kids.
Choose a Child-Friendly Cruise Line
Sometimes the best way to keep your kids safe and happy on a cruise is to find a cruise that is child-friendly. There are cruises for adults, cruises for everyone, and some designed just for families. Do your research and find a cruise line that has amenities just for kids. Disney cruises are obviously very child-friendly and will offer a lot more support for children as well as safety precautions for little ones while they play.
Many cruises for everyone will have child-friendly amenities as well. Childcare, camps, and kid entertainment options are available to help keep kids content and safe. Kid-friendly areas have more lifeguards, better railings, added security, and crew members trained in keeping kids safe on board.
Always Pack the Sunscreen
Some of the best parts of a cruise are out on the deck or exploring when in port. That means your kids will probably have a lot of sun exposure while vacationing. One mistake that people tend to make when cruising in parts of the world they aren’t familiar with is not applying sunscreen nearly as often as they should. When the UV rays are a lot more extreme, sunscreen needs to be applied more frequently. No matter where you’re going, pack sunscreen, hats, and sun shirts.
The common safety concerns that come with kids and cruises can all be mitigated with extra care and caution. It’ll also help to do your research on each cruise ship and talk to any crew members about the safety precautions they have for children on board to help keep your mind at ease. The more precautions in place, more eyes on the kids, and more awareness of the potential hazards, the safer the kids will be. Family vacations should be enjoyable and relaxing, and a cruise is no exception. Your family will have a fun — and safe — vacation on a cruise with these tips in mind. Happy cruising!