I have a couple of travel stories how I saved lives of two kids during my travels. These stories could end tragically for two families with small children if by the will of fate I was not in the right place at the right time.
Don’t be distracted when you travel
This advice applies to people of any age, and especially to the parents of young children. Traveling is the time when people are relaxed. It can make them careless.
Especially, while in a foreign country, travelers are distracted by new experiences, by meeting new people, and sometimes they allow themselves to drink more alcohol than usual.
They become more unfocused, distracted and therefore make more mistakes. Because of that, during trips, travelers might lose their belongings, and sometimes even money or passports.
Supervise your kids at all times
Of course, the most nerve-racking incident that could happen to any parent is losing their child in crowded places. There are many ways to prevent that. At airports, train stations, malls, and busy attractions, parents can use a GPS tracking device, strapped to the child’s belt or shoe. They can also write their name and phone number on the child’s arm, or dress children in colorful clothes, so they’re easily spotted in a crowd.
Unfortunately, some parents forget to keep their kids supervised at all times. On airplanes, I witnessed small children wandering down the aisles, while their parents were asleep. You cannot lose a child on the plane, but what if a toddler walks into a galley where they keep hot coffee?
Watch out for waves
On one of Carribean cruises, we visited hotel Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. We were walking on the beach. It was breezy, and the waves from the Atlantic Ocean were quite high, some of them reaching far inland. There were many people on the beach, including lots of children.
One toddler was playing in the sand close to the water. The boy was probably just a year old. His parents were a few steps away, talking. Suddenly, one of the long waves reached the boy and started to drag him into the deeper water.
Being closest to the child, I jumped in front of him and prevented his little body from being swept into the ocean. Then I grabbed the boy and pulled him out of the water.
Parents were shocked when they realized that their child was in mortal danger. They missed the whole scene. They thanked me profusely for saving their child’s life. It took me a while to stop shaking because I knew what could have happened if I wasn’t walking on the beach that day.
There are lots of stories about children drowning in a few inches of water while their parents were next to them, but were not paying attention. The incident on the Paradise Island could have a tragic ending. That little boy was almost swept into the ocean.
Little girl and a dog
The second story happened in Denmark. We stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast place. As always, we wanted to explore the area near the house where we were staying. During the walk, we discovered a large campground located on the same lake as our
At the entrance to the campground, we met a very friendly golden retriever. It looked like this dog wanted a company. Instead of returning to its absent owners’ campsite, the dog followed us all around.
We walked through the campground to the lakeshore. The retriever followed us to the waterfront. On one of the docks, there were four or five adults and two young children.
Adults with glasses of wine in their hands were talking and laughing. The older boy was fishing. The two-year-old girl with long blond hair was looking at the fish swimming below her feet. “Our” golden retriever was excited to have such a large company.
If you are familiar with golden retrievers, you know that they are always happy to be around people. This Danish dog was a typical golden retriever. His body and tail were swinging from side to side. The amplitude of the movements was pretty wide.
Since the dog was close to the child, I decided to keep an eye on both of them, and stood next to the girl. She had a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, no life vest. I was the only person on the dock who was paying attention.
Of course, what had to happen, happened: in a split second the dog moved very close to the child, bumped her with his backside and pushed her into the water. By the time her terrified parents noticed what happened, I was already pulling their daughter out of the lake by her long blond hair.
These are just the two stories about how I saved lives of two kids during my travels. Luckily I was at the right place at the right time and took notice of my surroundings. I hope that we all can pay close attention to our families when we travel.