How to Keep Your Children Safe at Sea: Maritime Lawyers Weigh In

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Unfortunately, as maritime lawyers, we are sadly very familiar with tragic cases involving child passenger victims. In our experience – the cruise lines do not make safety a top priority.  As cruising has become a more popular vacation choice among young families, we have seen an uptick in the frequency of injury cases involving children. To help prepare families cruising with children, we have put together a few tips for keeping children of all ages safe while at sea.

Discuss Ship Safety

Before you depart on your journey, it is imperative to speak with your children about the general safety precautions that should be taken while at sea. Especially if this is their first time on the water, having a conversation about some of the hazards that they might encounter aboard a ship is very helpful.  Often times, passengers are unfamiliar with the raised thresholds that frequently appear on ships or the slip and fall hazards that seem to always be around the water attractions aboard the ship.  Parents should establish rules like walking, instead of running, for example, in order to lay the foundation for a successful and safe vacation. For older children, you might offer reminders regarding the dangers of underage drinking and the importance of making smart choices while with their peers and staying out of other passenger’s cabins.

Establish Routine Check-Ins

You may want to give your older children a bit more freedom while on the cruise. While this is understandable, we recommend establishing routine and frequent check-ins and curfews with them. This allows your kids to explore and do what they want, while still ensuring that you know what is happening and how their day is going. Many victims of cruise ship rape and sexual assault are minors; and routine check-ins and curfews can help you determine if anything seems out of the ordinary at regular intervals throughout the day – and especially, at night.

Stay Alert

If you have smaller children, the most important thing you can do as a parent is to stay vigilant at all times. With so many activities on board and so many new adventures, your little ones may put their better judgment on the back burner. Add to this the fact that the older kids and adults on the ship may simply not pay as much attention to smaller children, and it is easy to see how important your attention really is.

LMAW Can Help

While these tips are good practice to help to keep your children out of harm’s way, we also understand that incidents still occur. The recent tragedy aboard the Carnival Glory, when 8-year-old Zion Smith fell to two floors inside the ship and later died of her injuries, is a sobering reminder of the fact that disaster can strike at any time, and sometimes, without warning.

So if you are mourning an accident or loss of life and believe that the cruise line is to blame, our team is here to help. We have experience assisting clients with cases against many major cruise lines, including Carnival. This means that we know what you are facing, and how to get you the results you deserve.

Although no amount of money can ever undo the harm that was done to a loved one, it can help provide even the smallest amount of closure, allowing you to process your grief and move forward as best you can.

So when you are ready to speak with a legal team who will have your back from start to finish and fight for you and your family members, do not hesitate to contact us.