Boating Safety Tips for Kids on the Water

Boating is an activity that means fun for the whole family..including the little ones, so make sure the youngsters are prepared and educated on boating safety. Here is a list of tips from safekids.org to go over with the kiddos PRIOR to embarking on a family boating trip:

Boating Safety Tips When Taking Out Youngsters:

WEAR A LIFE JACKET [Inflatable arm floaties and animal-shaped rafts are not the same thing as a USCG-approved life jacket.  Make sure the boat is equipped with enough life jackets for all passengers and wear your life jackets]

CHILDPROOF YOUR BOAT AND DEVELOP SOME BASIC RULES When you’re boating with kids, you have to be thorough and consistent with rules enforcement. [Keeping hands and feet in the boat and staying seated while in the boat are a few examples of rules.]

INFANT-APPROPRIATE LIFE JACKETS [According to the USCG’s Office of Boating Safety, babies should not be in boats until they are big enough to wear a USCG-approved life jacket.  Also, once your little one is big enough to safely go boating, hold on to your baby rather than leaving them in a car seat, as if the boat were to capsize, the car seat would sink instantly.

LEARN FROM SAFETY PROFESSIONALS [Enroll yourself and the kids in a boating safety class.  Sometimes hearing things from others in a formal setting makes more of an impact on kids than going over something at home during dinner.]

KEEP LITTLE KIDS WARM [Because little kids and babies are more susceptible to hypothermia, it is important that they stay warm.  Bring extra dry towels, blankets, sweatshirts, etc.]

LEARN CPR [Regardless of how confident you are that your boating adventure will continue without a glitch, knowing CPR is one of the most important things you can do when preparing for a boat trip…even if it’s for peace of mind alone–as a parent, that is important.  Check with your local hospital, fire department or recreation organization/establishment for upcoming CPR courses.]

CHECK YOUR BOAT’S CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR [As previously mentioned–click here–carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal, but it is also preventable. A carbon monoxide detector on your boat can literally save your and your passengers’ lives, so make sure you test the detector prior to hitting the water every time.]

TEACH YOUR KIDS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OPEN WATER AND POOLS [There aren’t riptides, undertoes or strong currents in swimming pools–make sure the kids realize that open water is not the same as being in a pool.  Weather makes a huge difference on the water conditions while on open water, so make sure they are aware of the sky and their surroundings at all times.]

ENROLL YOUR CHILD IN SWIMMING LESSONS [Swimming lessons are an excellent way to familiarize your child with the water and to also teach them lifesaving water safety tips.]

Boating Safety with Kids

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