Quick Travel Tip from a Dad (#5): Shoulder Riders Beware!

My husband Slaed, a seasoned traveler, has no shortage of advice when it comes to hitting the roads, rails, skies, and even waterways.  Fatherhood did throw him for a loop, but with almost a year and a half of travel with a little one under his belt, he’s got some creative ideas and some gems of advice he wants to pass along to you fellow travelers out there.

Shoulder Ride Orcas Island Ferry

Show of hands.  Do you throw your kids onto your shoulders when out and about? It’s a great option for so many reasons: kid gets to be taller, kid gets a fun ride, kid is with you and thus not running amok or getting lost in a crowd, tired kid legs get a break.  I could go on and on!

Accidents happen though, and while I’m certainly not going to tell you to stop putting your kids on your shoulders, I do want you to be careful.  While at the beautiful Desert Botanical Gardens on our recent trip to Phoenix, Slaed learned his lesson the hard way.  After 2 1/2 hours of happy roaming, we had one more loop to complete.

To speed Bergen along, Slaed put him atop his shoulders and continued on the path to enjoy the wildflowers.  It wasn’t a minute later before he felt a tug followed a cry from not only Bergen, but the other concerned garden patrons nearby.  He walked Bergen right into a prickly tree. It was a bit of a frenzy wiping up blood and pulling thorns out of his head, but we did get the poor guy to the first aid station where he was cleaned up by a kind park ranger  (who is a dad himself).

First Aid Station Desert Botanical Gardens

A bit of warning before your next shoulder ride: 

  • Think about your trip (from point a to point b) before you start walking.  Entering any buildings?  Have your wits about you and anticipate what’s coming ahead (and above).  
  • Remember how much taller you actually are with a kid on your shoulders.  Your clearance levels will be different now that you have a tot along for the ride.
  • Be careful everywhere, but be especially vigilant if you choose to give a ride while walking up or down stairs.

Have you had any accidents or close calls with a tot on your shoulders? What happened?

Need more? Go visit Travel Tips Tuesday on WalkingOn Travels and Suitcases and Sippy Cups.  For tons of great travel tips, check out their sites!

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12 thoughts on “Quick Travel Tip from a Dad (#5): Shoulder Riders Beware!

  1. Aw – your poor baby! My kids are way past the on the shoulders age, but they had their share of head bumps while on Daddy’s shoulders!

    • He was definitely a trooper! Once we got to the first aid station, and the ranger was cleaning him up, he was as calm as a cucumber. Guess he was ready to move on to another adventure 😉

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