Before you take the kids out on the high seas, let’s discuss a few helpful boating safety tips. At Life Saver Pool Fence, our primary concern is keeping everyone, especially our little ones, out of harm’s way. This extends far beyond swimming pool fencing. Today, we’re taking a look at basic boating safety.
Boating Safety is Different From Pool Safety
First thing’s first. You’ll need to break down some fundamental rules about boating safety for your kids. Children need to understand that there are different rules for the open water versus their home pool. After all, the open water can be a bumpy, unpredictable place. The danger is even worse if kids don’t understand water currents and the potential of a strong undertow.
Here are some general guidelines to include:
- No running onboard the vessel
- When moving, keep your hands and feet in the boat at all times.
- Only swim in areas that are explicitly designated for swimming
- Don’t dive into the water. You never know how deep it may be.
As always, being educated by a professional is a great way to avoid water safety mistakes. The best course of action is to enroll your entire family in a boating safety class. This will teach them what they need to know… and you’ll probably learn a thing or two as well!
Wear a Life Jacket
No matter how skilled a swimmer may be, everyone should wear a life jacket when they are on a boat. That goes for adults as well as children. When it comes to boating safety, you can never be too careful. Additionally, make sure you’re using the correct life jacket. If the U.S. Coast Guard doesn’t expressly approve it, it may not be effective in an emergency. Adults should always make sure that their kids are wearing their life jacket properly. For example, their jacket should fit snugly. A loose life jacket could easily slip off. That’s a recipe for disaster!
Floaties Are Not Enough
Speaking of flotation devices… skip the floaties! A lot of parents rely on floaties or water wings to keep their kids safe. We’ve written about the dangers of floaties, in case you’d like more information.
Again, if you’re looking for a reliable floatation device, always use a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket on your child. It’s more cumbersome than water wings, but it may save their life.
When it comes to water safety, swimming lessons are a good idea all around. It’s never too late to learn, so adults should consider taking a class as well. Becoming a strong swimmer can be the difference between life and death in a dangerous situation. Parents of extremely young children may want to look into Infant Swimming Resource. This program offers a powerful swimming safety option for younger children.
Active Supervision is Necessary
We’ve talked about active supervision a lot on this blog. The key is to take this job very seriously. Active supervision requires that an adult pay close attention to the children at all times. This is not a time for distractions or conversation. Around any body of water, it’s important to beware a false sense of security.
Above all, don’t spread your attention too thin! The open water can be tricky for an adult trying to watch multiple children at once. There are limits to any one person’s abilities. To combat this, try to add more watchers! In an ideal situation, you’d have one adult active supervisor per child.
There you have it. These are our five top tips for boating safety. When you’re ready to ship out, don’t forget this advice. It could very well save you or your child’s life!