Boat trips with family are a great way to make memorable summer experiences. While boating with kids can be a lot of fun, the adventure presents many risks and dangers. Therefore, safety should be your number one priority when boating with children.
The first and most important step you can take to ensure your child’s safety when boating is proper supervision and training. Give your children an age-appropriate safety orientation before you embark on your day together. Once you have the basics covered, it’s important to go over other safety measures.
Below are some helpful tips to make your boat trips safe and enjoyable.
Boating has its fair share of dangers, and wearing a life jacket is one of the single most important items when cruising, for both kids and adults. Toddlers don’t necessarily understand water safety. As a rule of thumb, fit your kids with a personal floatation device (PFD) as they leave the car until the end of the expedition.
The US Coast Guard requirements dictate that everyone on board a water vessel should wear a life jacket. Life jackets are not equal; children’s jackets should have extra safety features.
Children’s life jackets should have a crotch strap to prevent the child from sliding out and extra padding to allow for head floatation. Additionally, the jackets should be brightly colored and comfortable.
Children mostly learn by watching. To make sure your kid wears a life jacket, set a good example by wearing one yourself.
Boating with kids means you are likely to spend hours in the sun. Sun protection is necessary for both kids and adults to avoid sunburns. Health experts recommend some sun exposure, but too much can be dangerous.
Kids are particularly at risk because they are notorious for not using sunscreen. If your kids love spending time outdoors, it’s crucial to invest in sun protection items, including:
It’s easy to overlook sun safety when boating with family. Time adds up quickly with many fun activities on the boat, leading to overexposure to the sun. Overexposure can lead to painful sunburns and serious problems like skin cancer down the line.
Have a rule for kids to lather up on the sunscreen a couple of times during the day.
Swimming lessons are more of a preventative measure to ensure your kids are extra safe. Life jackets do a good job at keeping your kids safe, and swimming skills make them more comfortable around water.
Sign up your kids for swimming lessons so they can learn how to float and tread water. Accidents happen to even the best swimmers, but the lessons will give you more peace of mind. It’s also good to go over water safety with your kids before starting your trip.
If you plan to go out with kids on a boat trip, ensure you don’t go alone. You will need the extra pair of hands for driving and navigating the waters as well as keeping an eye on the kids.
It helps if the adult watching over the kids has some water rescue skills like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The backup will help everyone have a good time and put your mind at ease.
Remember, as much fun as boating is, it’s always important to adhere to safety standards while enjoying your time on the water. Children harbor natural curiosity and they may require constant supervision while boating. By taking the above precautions and being vigilant, you can help minimize the risks associated with boating.
If you have any other questions about boating with your family, or would like more information about our boats, feel free to contact us at Lifestyle Marine.