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Tips to Stay Safe When You Take Children Boating

What better way to spend the boating season than on the water with your family. The memories they make when you take your children boating are priceless.

But, before you head out boating with the kids, it’s important to put safety measures in place to keep everyone safe on board. There are several basic tips to follow when you take children boating to ensure that everyone has a fun and safe time on the water this boating season.

Safety tips for boating with kids header from Jet Dock Systems

Life Jackets Are Not Up for Debate

Boat safety for kids starts with a life jacket. This should be an obvious safety measure but it’s important to make sure that the kids know the value of wearing a life jacket. This means that life jackets are required for everyone on board, including adults.

It’s also important when boating with kids that everyone has a properly fitting life jacket. If your child knows how to swim, a type III rating jacket is suitable for those weighing 30-50 lbs. If they don't know how to swim, they'll need a type I or type II jacket that has a collar. This collar helps to hold their face upwards when entering the water. For kids who weigh 50-90 lbs, a youth size life jacket is suitable and should fit snugly to prevent it from sliding off in the water.

Swim Lessons

The sooner you get your kids into swimming lessons, the faster and easier they’ll be able to master proper swimming techniques, including how to tread water and float. A child should be able to swim the length of a lap pool to be considered a good swimmer. These are life-saving skills they should learn before you take your children boating.

Childproof Your Boat

No matter what age your children are, a big boating safety for kids tip is to organize and childproof your boat. Make sure everything has its place and that your boat is clutter free. For families with kids under 10, it’s important to:

  • Secure cockpit doors.
  • Lock cabin doors.
  • Put cleaners up and out of reach.
  • Declutter the cockpit to prevent falls.

Set Basic Rules When Boating With Kids

Just like at home, you should have a clear set of rules for kids to follow, adjusting for ages.

  • No running, to prevent injury, falling into the water and destabilizing the boat (smaller vessels).
  • Always keeps hands and feet in the boat at all times.
  • In open water, never swim near the prop.
  • Always wear your life jacket, no exceptions.
  • Delegate Responsibilities

    School age children and older can hold important roles while on the water. Here are some tasks kids can be in charge of:

    • Help with storing gear and supplies.
    • Make sure the key is out of the ignition while people are swimming nearby.
    • Monitor weather updates using the VHF radio.
    • Use binoculars to spot potential water hazards.

    No matter your kids' age, they can always help and feel important while boating. It will also teach them the importance of responsibility and working as a team.

    When it comes to boat safety for kids, there is no such thing as being over-prepared. Use this safety checklist and create your own boating safety guide for your entire family to follow.

    Boat Safety for Kids Starts On Shore

    Whether you've taken your children boating out on the water or they're still on the shore, safety should be your No. 1 priority. At Jet Dock, we are committed to making sure you’re safe before you even step onto your boat. We are industry leaders in floating walkways and docking systems designed to make it safe and easy for you to board and exit any watercraft. The no-skid design combined with the durability of a polyethene construction means our floating docks will keep you safe no matter the water levels or weather conditions. Safety starts before you board. Safety starts with Jet Dock.

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