Safe Boating with Children
Whether you decide to take the kids fishing, or just to enjoy a ride on the boat, always make sure you have life jackets, a first aid kit, some sort of sound producing device such as an air horn, and a fire extinguisher readily available. Boating is an all-time favorite activity in the summer and when done safely, you can create many great memories!
Children should always be supervised in and around water. Teaching your child how to swim does not prevent drowning, but is a very important skill to learn. Knowing what to do in an emergency and water safety skills may help to prevent drowning. However the most important safety method while boating is to wear a life jacket. According to the US Coast Guard, about 85% of people who drowned while boating were not wearing flotation devices.
Life jackets should fit snug and keep your head above water in a face-up position. To know if your jacket fits your child, put it on them, tighten the straps, and lift them up by the jacket’s shoulders. If your child’s head and chin slip through the neck hole, it does not fit correctly. You can also test the life jacket by holding your baby/child in a swimming pool before heading out on our boat! Also, make sure your children’s life jackets are US Coast Guard approved and are sized correctly according to height and weight.
On those hot summer days, be sure to bring a light blanket for your little ones to cover up with to protect from the brutal sun, should they tire out and need a nap. Proper skin care includes plenty of sunscreen and something to protect their face such as a hat. A bimini top will work effectively to provide shade for you and your children. Also, having plenty of water and ice on hand is important to be sure everyone stays hydrated and happy.
While it is highly important to be aware of your children's safety while boating, always remember to take the proper safety measures for yourself. Kids depend on you to keep them safe, and you can only do that when you have taken the proper precautions towards your own safety.
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