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Safety Tips for Cruising With Kids

Over the past several months, we have been retained by passengers in various types of cases. Some of the cases involved slip-and-fall accidents, injuries on the water slide in the cruise ship’s water park, drownings occurring both on the ship and during shore excursions, and passengers who fell overboard. We also have been contacted in cases involving alleged sexual assaults, including one committed on a minor.

Since it is common to have children on board the cruise ships, as almost 2 million children go on cruises each year, it is essential that parents be aware of the dangers and hazards onboard the cruise ship, and keep a close eye on their children. Even during supervised activities onboard the ship, if there is not adequate supervision an accident can happen, causing injuries to your child. In addition, a child is at risk for being sexually assaulted, which have occurred on cruise ships with a greater frequency than most people would believe. There have even been cases where the sexual predator has been an employee of a cruise ship company in charge of supervision of minors. Therefore, adequate precautions must take place, including very strict instructions to your child when you are going on a cruise ship.

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act was an attempt to try to make the cruise ships somewhat safer, as well as to provide reporting requirements and disclosures to the public so that the public can become more aware of these types of incidents that are occurring onboard cruise ships. Only recently are cruise lines somewhat complying, which has allowed a greater awareness to the types of accidents and incidents on board ships. Hopefully this, coupled with cruise ships making changes with the type of security and supervision they provide, will lead to less of these unfortunate incidents occurring, and assure that our children who go on cruise ships will be safer.

Our Miami cruise ship accident lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A. are often asked the question whether cruises are safe for kids and whether you should even bring your kid on a cruise. The answer is yes. We are in no way encouraging people to stop going on cruises, which are a great way to enjoy a family vacation. However, safety is key.

We have compiled a list of safety tips when traveling with children on cruises.

  • Take the Safety Drill at the Beginning of Your Cruise Seriously:

    Attend the safety drill with your kids. After the drill, go over with them what to do in case of an emergency, and make sure they know how to find the muster station.

  • Do Not Let Your Children Swim Without Adult Supervision:

    Remember there are no lifeguards on board ships. This means that everyone swims at their own risk. Make sure your child is only in the pool when supervised. We have sadly heard of many drowning incidents this past year, some of children, and some of experienced swimmers.

  • Buy Sanitizer and Encourage Your Kids to Wash Their Hands Frequently:

    The way to avoid getting sick from with norovirus or some other type of sickness is to frequently and thoroughly wash your hands throughout the day.

  • Do Not Go Into Anyone Else’s Cabin:

    Cruise ships feel trustworthy but there are criminals on board. It is easy to let your guard down, but remember these cruise ships are technically floating cities. Tell your children that you never know what is behind a cabin door and they should not go into the cabin of someone they just met.

  • Buddy System:

    Do not let your child walk alone. Encourage the buddy system. There is “safety in numbers.”

  • No Underage Drinking:

    Although underage drinking is illegal, it does happen on cruises. We have handled many cases where a minor has fallen overboard due to having been overserved alcohol. Underage drinking can lead to many different problems on board a ship and the only way to prevent these problems from happening is to prevent minors from consuming alcohol.

  • Set a Time Limit When to Be Back in Your Cabin:

    Nothing good happens after 2 a.m. or 11 p.m. in this case. The time that the kids club parties ends should be the time your child has to be back in the cabin.

As we said before, cruises can be a great family vacation for you and your children to enjoy. However, cruise ships are like floating cities, and like any city, criminal activity can occur. That is why the safety tips above are important to consider on your next family cruise vacation.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a cruise ship accident or crime, contact Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A., online or call 305-374-0565 for a free consultation today.

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Maritime Blog Cruise Brett Rivkind is dedicated to bringing boaters and cruisers the latest industry news and informative articles. In his blog, Mr. Rivkind shares his vast knowledge and experience in the maritime legal field, reporting on cruise ship and boating law issues.
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