ROCK HALL, Md. (CBS) – You’ve probably heard about the Pittsburgh-area restaurant owner who touched off a global controversy by banning kids from his eatery.  “Disruptive,” he called them.

But at shore and bay dining spots, there is a bit more to think about, as a couple of my own recent experiences highlight.

In one, she was cute as a button, curly blond hair, and no more than four.  I noticed this child as she ping-ponged off our table while mom and dad were randomly chatting with friends, a couple of tables away.

The bigger problem was the fact that this was a busy waterside crab deck in Rock Hall, Md., where boats tie up, and a there’s sheer drop into ten feet of water with no guard rail.

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child life jacket uscga Jay Lloyds Getaway:  Child Safety While Dining Dockside

(Children, even competent swimmers, need appropriate life jackets when near water. File photo. Credit: US Coast Guard Auxiliary)


“Shirley Temple” wasn’t wearing a life jacket.  So now, while cracking crabs, I’m also forced to keep an eye on a stranger’s kid in case she takes the plunge.

It wasn’t two weeks later that a similar scene unfolded at one of my favorite canalside restaurants.

Parents, even dog owners who spend time around boats, instinctively know to put offspring and pets in life jackets when loose on a dock and or a waterside deck.  But vacationing parents, unaccustomed to water safety issues while dining, never think of it.

Maybe a gentle reminder from staff (rather than a ban on kids) would make everyone more comfortable at dockside restaurants.

Reported by Jay Lloyd, KYW Newsradio 1060

“Jay Lloyd’s Getaway” main page

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