One of the best things about boating is it’s an activity for all manner of company. Boating alone can be relaxing. Boating with friends is good entertainment. It’s also a great family activity, but when the family includes children, there are extra safety concerns to take into consideration.
Proper Life Jackets
If it’s not Coast Guard approved, it doesn’t cut it. Having a life jacket for everyone on board is essential. Making sure children 13 and younger have theirs on for the duration of the time onboard is necessary as well. For children over 13, make sure the jacket is easily accessible just as you would for any passenger.
Comfort Around the Water
Making sure children have respect for the potential danger water presents is important. Instilling that respect should start at an early age.
Children are ready for swim lessons at different ages and maturity levels, but the family who plans to boat together should consider the earliest opportunity to build in that swimming experience.
What Are the Most Important Water Survival Skills for Children?
- Returning to the surface instinctually after falling or jumping into the water.
- Floating to conserve strength and treading to stay above water when necessary.
- Breathing while in motion to move toward safety.
- Calmness to orient themselves once in the water.
Open Water Is Not a Pool
Whether you are on a lake, in a river, or heading out to sea, your youngest passengers need to understand there are dangers in the open water a pool doesn’t present. Waves, undertow, poor visibility, uneven depth, and yes, even animals, are things your young boat passenger should have an awareness of.
What Else Can You Do to Promote Safety?
The Coast Guard offers lots of online resources for additional safety considerations.
Relax and Have Fun
Boating is fun and it’s a great way to teach children to respect nature and the water. Be mindful of safety and have a great time on the water. If you’re considering buying your first boat or a new one, reach out to Rogue Jet Boatworks today!