With almost 100 different kinds of boats – from kayaks to canoes to motorboats – there is a good chance most of us will be having a great time on the water at some point. So when you do, please remember these simple safety tips for the Xentire family.
Wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
- Always have children wear a PFD approved by the United States Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports.
- Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. To check the fit, put on the PFD, have the child straighten their arms above their head and pull up on the shoulders of the PFD. The PFD should not move.
- According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety, babies should not travel on a boat – including rowboats, kayaks, motorboats, and sailboats – until they are at the appropriate weight to wear an approved PFD.
Keep Little Children Warm
Infants and young children are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so if you are taking a baby on a boat, just take a few extra precautions to keep your baby warm. If your children seem cold or are shivering, wrap them tightly in a dry blanket or towel.
Do Not Rely on Swimming Aids
Remember that swimming aids such as water wings or noodles are fun toys for children, but they should never replace an approved PFD.
Learn from the Professionals
- Enroll older children in a boating safety course. Better yet, enroll with them.
- Enroll children in swimming lessons and teach them the difference between open water and a pool.
- Get a vessel safety check every year for free from the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary or United States Power Squadrons.