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  1. CM81

    Vacation: Kid's Safety Question

    Thanks so much for the help. I'm sorry if I am being very anxious and confusing. I just want to be as prepared as possible. We are super excited for the trip, and I don't want to restrict her at all, but I do want her to be safe. I know we will learn a lot by actually being there, but I don't want to turn up unprepared. Everybody here is being really helpful and I appreciate your advice. I'm sorry if I used the wrong terminology (I am learning so much!). By keeping her off the bow, I meant we will make sure she only gets on and off at the back of the boat. E.g. that if we are docking and she is sitting in the front, she comes through the boat to get off. And none of us will be going along the sides (the gunwales/gunnels). I hope that makes sense! Thanks for the note about possibly seeing others being more laid back about safety. Some of her friends parents are more laid back than us regarding safety concerns, so it's pretty normal for her to see others doing what we'd consider unsafe. We will explain to her why she has to have her life jacket on at all times, but I don't think she'll be too bothered by seeing other kids jumping around without one on, or climbing all over the boat, and so on. It sounds like sneakers will be good for the boat, but we will make sure she takes her rain boots too in case the sides are muddy or really wet. We are really interested in the Avon ring not just because of the Shakespeare sites and the Warwick Castle, but because we might plan to hire a car for a few days to do the Cotswolds Area and we think Tewkesbury would be a good place to do that. But we will look at the other routes and the CanalPlan website, so thanks for the info. Thanks so much again. C.
  2. CM81

    Vacation: Kid's Safety Question

    Thanks so much. We know where we want to see and go, and pretty much whereabouts we will be picking up the boat, but aren't completely up to speed on the names of the whole canal/river network yet (our eldest is a whizz with technology so we will have the routes on our Google maps). We will definitely not allow her to walk down the sides of the boat, and we will also make it a rule for her to stay off the bow at all times. I am worried about when we dock the boat, but so long as she can still be involved when at the back, then that will probably work well. I know we will learn by doing it when we are there, but can anyone please share some ideas for what she can help with when we are docking? We will definitely make sure she only steps off the boat once the docking is complete, so are there some good practices for docking we could put her in charge of? Getting things ready, being on the lookout, checking things, that sort of thing? We want her absolutely safe, but don't want her excluded either. I was thinking more about when we are walking at the sides of the water and operating the locks. Except for when we leave the canal area entirely (like, for example, going to the Shakespeare sites, the Warwick Castle, the grocery store) she will be wearing her life jacket at all times, but how important are shoes/boots? Are the sides always very muddy or only after heavy rain? She's completely ok on her feet, but I am worried about her possibly slipping when we are walking at the sides or near the locks. I know it will depend a lot on the weather, but are sneakers normally ok? Should we insist she has hiking or rain boots? Thanks so much again. C.
  3. CM81

    Vacation: Kid's Safety Question

    Wow! Thanks so much for the help. We are looking at the Avon ring because we haven’t been to those parts of the U.K. Our plan is to book the boat from Rugby and do the ring clockwise for three weeks. We know the route includes the river, but is it more dangerous than the Four Counties ring? We want to do the Shakespeare sites, and the Warwick Castle, which I read you can detour to off the Avon ring. There are other things we want to do, but if the Four Counties ring is much safer, we could do those things by car I guess. She is super excited about the trip and we know she will be really into steering the boat and operating the locks (she will be supervised at all times). As we will be newbies it sounds like the best way is to have her wear her life jacket at all times she is outside the boat cabin, and when we are walking at the sides of the water, and operating the locks. When docking the boat, do you allow your kids to walk along the side of the boat? We’ve seen pics of people doing it when docking, but it looks kind of dangerous and not something I would be comfortable with her doing. Do you have to be on the sides to dock the boat properly? We don’t want to exclude her from being involved, but even with a life jacket on, I am worried that walking on the sides of the boat could be pretty unsafe. Thanks so much. C.
  4. We are a family of four planning our vacation for the summer and we are going to be booking a narrowboat for three weeks. We are looking mostly at the Avon ring and we will be newbies to the boat and the area. Our daughter (12) is super excited for the trip but she isn’t a strong swimmer and I’m also worried about her going to operate the locks. Could anyone here please share your routines/advice/rules/tips for kid’s safety on your boats? Thanks so much. C.
  5. Hi, We are a family of four (son, 15 and daughter, 12) planning our vacation for the summer. We will be booking a narrowboat and are newbies looking for advice on things as we get more of the planning done. So, hi!

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