Time for mom

Traveling with a child. First of all: security


August 2011. We cross the Przegalina lock and sail along the Dead Vistula towards Sobieszewo. Suddenly a powerful motor boat emerges from around the bend. It flows straight on us. We turn right, but not too close to the shore. A speedboat passes our yacht. We make a turn over the starboard side and position ourselves with the bow to a powerful drainage wave. Wake throws us high up. We fall with a big bang, hitting the rough water surface. We live!
This story from our voyage from Iława to Jastarnia reminds us that next to God's happiness and Providence (without which on the water even without moving) we also need specific human actions, generally called safety principles. We sailed on an efficient yacht after a detailed review with a trained crew, our two-year-old daughter, equipped with a kapok and a deck moor, was under constant parental control, Grandfather, experienced sea wolf stood at the helm, and the yacht was full of "klar", which means everything in its place.

Travel, and especially travel with a child, is an exceptional situation that is difficult to predict. And even if we overcome it once again on the same route and in the same circumstances we should not fall into a routine. Elemental caution is needed through preparation, anticipation, alertness and thinking. This means that:

  •  safe travel requires parents to have the appropriate permissions (driving license, watercraft patent, pilot license) and skills (two-wheeler riding, horse riding, knowledge of regulations, knowledge of rules).

Like obvious observations, but on There are more and more sailing families without patents, often unable to steer a yacht or motorboat. There are many parents on the roads poorly acquainted with traffic regulations. And on planes there are still cases of ignoring service recommendations that improve passenger safety. Most often, these neglects are the result of routine, disregard or ambitious behavior on the principle: "I know all this", "You will not teach me what children should do on the plane", "Your Daddy can do everything". This is the shortest way to anticipate adventure in drama and disappointment. Therefore, the best solution will be to suppress parental pride and suppress ula's fantasy for real self-esteem, raise your qualifications and update your knowledge. Nobody said that studying the Highway Code every year is a shame and that Dad can't learn sailing with his son!

  • safe travel implies the use of appropriate equipment, i.e.
  1.  adapted for travel - having protective equipment, a special design, compact, mobile and versatile properties, and often advanced technology;
  2. certified - "certified" does not necessarily equal "expensive", but almost always means "tested". Therefore, the equipment on which our safety depends should bear the characteristics of specialists tested in professional laboratories
  3. tested - reviewed, maintained and recommended by other parents;
  4. correctly mounted.

Children transported without child seats, on unattached child seats or unfastened with a safety harness. Motorcyclists riding with toddlers without helmets. Cyclists or pedestrians on the road, without lighting or glare. How do we know that? The same translations always appear: "it's just a piece", "certainly nothing will happen", "a waste of money". And later in the statistics we can read that car accidents are the main cause of deaths of children in Europe, that the most common victims in Poland are pedestrians and cyclists, that about 20% of children transported by car in our country is completely unsecured with an increasing trend and that more than 40% of car seats are incorrectly installed in the car. We would like to survive a journey with a child better or worse, but to make it happen, we must first experience this journey.

  • safe travel implies responsible - prudent, mature, calm - parental behavior.

Excessive speed, drunkenness, non-compliance with rules, stupidity, bravado, lack of imagination are the most common causes of accidents. On the other hand, arrogance, ignorance and overconfidence are ideal qualities for creating an emergency. So let's take some Polish wisdom every way: "Think twice before you say something," and when traveling with a child, enrich it with a Chinese sentence: "Think three times before you do something, and you won't regret your actions."

  • safe travel involves thoughtful planning, i.e.
  1.  best time to travel - here sentences are divided between supporters of daytime and night driving. The most opinion-forming automotive research institute ADAC reports that the greatest decrease in concentration and human performance occurs between 3:00 and 5:00 in the morning, that's why it's worth looking for intermediate solutions: comfortable for children and safe for drivers. In our family travel, long car trips with children usually start around 5:00 in the morning. My wife and I are already quite rested, the toddlers have a prolonged morning nap thanks to swinging on the back sofa, and the road is relatively calm;
  2. regular and attractive stops - every two or three hours, in interesting parking lots, e.g. with playgrounds, a mini-zoo or a large running space. During the cruise on the Midi canal in France, we moored in small towns, where next to the playground, every morning we found colorful markets with regional and fresh food and fragrant bakeries with delicious croissants;
  3. appropriate places to travel - children love seats by the window (plane, car, train), the first row behind the pilot's seat works great on the bus, because the huge windshield acts as a monitor for an interesting toddler (in this way we have covered thousands of kilometers on Chinese roads), on a yacht during cruise all members of the crew should be on the deck (on board) if possible - if we are on the engine the best place to play for the child is the stern (rear of the yacht), in the case of setting sail, the whole crew takes positions in accordance with the helmsman's commands, and the child goes under strict parental control.

Of course, you can find many other aspects of safe travel, but it seems that the ones presented above are able to realistically guarantee protection and peace. It is also difficult to develop all of these principles in detail.