Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
CM81

Vacation: Kid's Safety Question

Featured Posts

21 hours ago, CM81 said:

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.

 

Quite rightly so, in my opinion, but there should be no need for anyone to do it.

 

A hire boat is quite likely to have a cruiser stern. but in any event, make it a rule to get on and off at the back. It's actually quite simple to get a narrowboat to touch the edge "arse first" instead of guessing exactly where the pointy bit is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And if you and/or yourchildren are going to be using automatic inflation type lifejackets have a watch of this video.

 

 

 

Edited by pete.i

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Machpoint005 said:

 

Quite rightly so, in my opinion, but there should be no need for anyone to do it.

 

A hire boat is quite likely to have a cruiser stern. but in any event, make it a rule to get on and off at the back. It's actually quite simple to get a narrowboat to touch the edge "arse first" instead of guessing exactly where the pointy bit is.

Agreed. I never let anybody get on or off the bow unless we are moored up. If somebody fell off the bow while we approached a mooring, I wouldn't know until after they'd been squashed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CM81 said:

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.

This para frankly makes it sound like you are treating your 12 yo as if she was 6. No reason to keep her off the bow at all times, just (maybe) not to get off from the bow until the boat is alongside. No reason not to get off from the stern as long as it is reasonably close to the side. As a matter of fact, on our trad sterns, we always drop the crew from the bow. In 14 years there’s been a couple of accidents when the person tripped and fell onto the towpath, no serious injuries. Absolute safety does not exist, you have to let your kids take risks else how are they to learn?

 

As regards footwear, it depends on the weather and the state of the towpath, but boots or decent walking shoes with tread on the sole are more often appropriate rather than sneakers/trainers.

 

Re-reading this makes me realise I’m sounding censorious, sorry about that, but I do worry how you’re going to cope with an adolescent girl if you want to keep her bundled in cotton wool at this late stage in her development. Try to worry less about this trip, I’m sure it will be just fine.

  • Greenie 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, CM81 said:

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

Hang on - never mind 'her' walking down the gunwhales - I'd suggest no-one does. Hire boats are usually pretty square sided making this difficult. I can't see a reason to do this underway, never do it in locks, you can access both ends of the boat through the cabin, so there's no reason for anyone to go that way

 

And if by the 'bow' you mean the raised bit at the front, I'd advise the same - there's usually no reason for anyone to be walking there of any age

 

I'm not seeing anything in your rules for your daughter that shouldn't apply to everyone else in the crew

 

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, CM81 said:

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.

 

During the school holidays you'll see lots of other families on boats and you will probably see some realyl dangerous things going on, like kids running up and down the roof while the boat is moving, and even while in locks.  Lifejackets never worn.  Be prepared for your daughter to question why she is so restricted when others aren't.  It's worth getting her to wear a lifejacket all the time, on rivers and canals.  You should too, then she'll not mind.

 

Trainers/sneakers usually make good boating shoes as the soles are very rubbery and grippy.  Hiking boots often make poor boating shoes as their soles are hard but with deep tread, for dealing with mud and uneven surfaces.  They don't grip well on smooth, wet surfaces at all. 

 

I don't see why you'd keep her off the bow all the time.  That's quite a safe spot to sit while travelling.

 

 

Edited by doratheexplorer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you make too many rules and restrictions your daughter will not enjoy herself.  You sound like sensible people so it's likely your daughter is sensible too! - a lifejacket is a given, but let her use her common sense to decide for herself what is safe and what isn't, and let her help with anything she wants - most kids work out very quickly what needs doing and the best way to do it.  She will be proud of her achievements and you will be proud of her, too.

 

I understand the attraction of a Ring, but be aware that unless you have a burning desire to boat the Avon/Severn, you can see the Shakespeare properties, Stratford and Warwick and plenty else besides without leaving the canal system.  In fact you could do both a ring and a trip to Stratford (Warwickshire Ring with a side trip down the South Stratford from Lapworth) easily in 3 weeks.  Recommend Canalplan for checking out this and other possibilities.

 

Enjoy your trip!

  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, BruceinSanity said:

As a matter of fact, on our trad sterns, we always drop the crew from the bow. In 14 years there’s been a couple of accidents when the person tripped and fell onto the towpath, no serious injuries.

 

We always drop crew from the (cruiser) stern.  In 11 years there have been no mishaps and no injuries at all. 

Neither your nor my experience is statistically significant, but the point was worth making.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know you have already said that you are proposing starting from Rugby, but I want to check again that you get that Rugby and Warwick are not on the Avon ring.  Even though on a map you will see that the river Avon does go through Rugby and Warwick it is not navigable there.  You will be using the North Oxford canal from Rugby to Braunston and then the Grand Union canal to Kingswood junction, there you will join the Stratford canal which forms part of the Avon ring.

 

The Avon ring its self is 131 locks and your trip from Rugby to Kingswood will be 49 locks each way.  So your trip will be a total of 229 locks.

  • Greenie 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a note that there is quite a big difference between buoyancy aids and lifejackets. The former are quite bulky and can be uncomfortable. The latter, which inflate automatically when you hit the water (if they are properly maintained...) are much easier to wear. I do a lot of single handed cruising on rivers and wear one all the time, and hardly notice it.  You can get lifejackets for children, but I would suspect most hire bases offer buoyancy aids. (We used buoyancy aids for our children ...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Just a note that there is quite a big difference between buoyancy aids and lifejackets. The former are quite bulky and can be uncomfortable. The latter, which inflate automatically when you hit the water (if they are properly maintained...) are much easier to wear. I do a lot of single handed cruising on rivers and wear one all the time, and hardly notice it.  You can get lifejackets for children, but I would suspect most hire bases offer buoyancy aids. (We used buoyancy aids for our children ...)

The difference between buoyancy aids and life jackets is not whether they self-inflate.  Life jackets are designed to keep an unconcious person's head out of the water, buoyancy aids aren't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

The difference between buoyancy aids and life jackets is not whether they self-inflate.  Life jackets are designed to keep an unconcious person's head out of the water, buoyancy aids aren't.

Yes, you're quite right to pull me up on this one.  I knew what I meant, but that is not what I said. (Three times, too!).

 

This page (I use this company for buying bits for my lifejackets) shows the two sorts of lifejackets I was seeking to compare. The price differential is not as large as one might expect.

 

https://www.lifejackets.co.uk/categories/1/kids-and-baby-lifejackets

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

The difference between buoyancy aids and life jackets is not whether they self-inflate.  Life jackets are designed to keep an unconcious person's head out of the water, buoyancy aids aren't.

Only if you buy auto-inflating ones! Manual inflation models are available, but wont save you if you fall in unconscious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Chris G said:

Only if you buy auto-inflating ones! Manual inflation models are available, but wont save you if you fall in unconscious.

Not sure what you mean there.  If it doesn't save you when you fall in unconcious, then it's a buoyancy aid, not a life jacket.  That includes anything manually inflated. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this confusion is my fault. So I think we have:

1.  Buoyancy aids, the sort of thing I wear dinghy sailing or on a kayak. Better than nothing if you fall in.

2. Children's lifejacket, made of foam etc. ie similar material to a buoyancy aid but with (for example) a float behind the head to hold your head out of the water.  If children are wearing something on a canal boat, usually this,

3. Automatic gas inflating lifejacket, which inflates as soon as it gets wet (or the more superior ones in response to a certain water pressure). Has a toggle that can be used to inflate manually

4. Manually operated gas inflating lifejacket, which require you to pull the toggle.   I have only one of these, and try to avoid using it!

Both 3 and 4 have a tube that you can blow into as well, if you feel like it - as I did for the annual checks at the weekend.DSC_0559.JPG.87303f7afcdc6feb33c36e4f3833d60a.JPGDSC_0560.JPG.877709a9b31d22b1f8283ec842f0306c.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

Not sure what you mean there.  If it doesn't save you when you fall in unconcious, then it's a buoyancy aid, not a life jacket.  That includes anything manually inflated. 

Manually inflated life jackets are available https://crewsaver.com/uk/catalogue/leisure/lifejackets/.  They wont save you if you are not able to inflate them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Chris G said:

Manually inflated life jackets are available https://crewsaver.com/uk/catalogue/leisure/lifejackets/.  They wont save you if you are not able to inflate them. 

I must listen more carefully when I next take an airplane flight, but I think they are manually inflated only. 

 

If, for example,  I went into the water to attempt to rescue someone trapped under a dinghy, then I would disable my lifejacket's autoinflate first, and rely on manual inflation by pulling on the toggle, once I had the casualty clear of the boat. A dangerous thing to do, I know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"A life jacket should keep someone afloat even if they are unconscious and should have a collar designed to keep the person’s face clear of the water."

 

From:https://www.getoutwiththekids.co.uk/water/buoyancy-aids-or-life-jackets/

 

In the case of canal boating, the only benefit of a manual "lifejacket" over a buoyancy aid is for non-swimming adults.  However, since the canal is mainly shallow enough to stand in, that's a dubious benefit.  For children, auto-inflate lifejackets or old fashioned foam type ones are needed.  For adults, the biggest risk by far is banging your head on the way down and lying unconcious face-down. 

 

So I'm struggling to think of a scenario where a manual inflation system is ever appropriate on the canals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, doratheexplorer said:

So I'm struggling to think of a scenario where a manual inflation system is ever appropriate on the canals.

When I was first learning to sail a dinghy, auto inflate was still in the future. So you wore a manual inflating lifer and decided by how much to inflate it depending on conditions. Normally, not at all unless you capsized. If the first attempt at righting failed, then you’d inflate the lifer before carrying on. Non-swimmers would at least partially inflate before going on the water.

 

This was called assessing the risks for yourself, in the light of advice from the more experienced if necessary. There are circumstances where auto inflation is positively dangerous – if you end up trapped upside down between the boat and an obstruction (such as a lock wall) for example, it may seriously hinder your ability to escape.

  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, BruceinSanity said:

When I was first learning to sail a dinghy, auto inflate was still in the future. So you wore a manual inflating lifer and decided by how much to inflate it depending on conditions. Normally, not at all unless you capsized. If the first attempt at righting failed, then you’d inflate the lifer before carrying on. Non-swimmers would at least partially inflate before going on the water.

 

This was called assessing the risks for yourself, in the light of advice from the more experienced if necessary. There are circumstances where auto inflation is positively dangerous – if you end up trapped upside down between the boat and an obstruction (such as a lock wall) for example, it may seriously hinder your ability to escape.

Sounds fair.  Not much dinghy sailing on the canals though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My concerns, in order are:

1.   guarding against crushing between the boat and hard stuff. Even an arm over the side whilst mooring has to be guarded against. Also in this category is heads on bridges etc. Also gate arms.

2.  guarding against falling in in dangerous areas eg near gate paddles. What could you do if somebody was sucked into a paddle hole in a gate apart from wait for the lock to fill?

 

Simply falling in otherwise peaceful waters (away from the prop) bothers me far less. Two of my three children and myself fell in at various times without any great dramas, on canals, without life jackets/aids. On rivers I would have been much more concerned.

 

Edited by system 4-50
  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.