Safety Boating Tips
Taking kids onto the water is a wonderful way to teach appreciation for nature while encouraging physical activity. From kayaks to ski boats, there are tons of options for helping kids develop a love for the water. As you prepare for your boating adventure, use these boating safety tips to teach kids the importance of safety every time you push off from the land.
Be Weather Aware
The weather can turn violent quickly over the water, so it is important to double-check the forecast before you head out. If dark clouds or rumbles of thunder seem to be threatening in the distance, postpone your trip for better weather or head for the shore if you are already on your boat. Remember that the temperature can also be colder on the water than on land. Bring a coat or blanket to keep kids warm if the temperatures suddenly drop.
Use Life Jackets Properly
Most boats are equipped with life jackets, but they may not be the appropriate size for a small child. Purchase life jackets that meet standards for water safety along with the height and weight guidelines for each child on the boat. Then, make sure that all straps are secure and tight enough to keep the life jacket on their body if they enter the water.
Teach Them to Swim
Swimming lessons are a must for every kid, and those who plan to go boating should know about the differences between swimming in open water and a pool. Knowing that they may encounter uneven surfaces and how to maneuver through currents is lifesaving information if a child falls overboard.
Enforce Safety Rules
Kids get excited on boats, especially when they see a beautiful view. For this reason, it is important to set expectations regarding proper boating behavior. Teach kids not to sit on or lean over railings, and they should always walk on deck not run. Staying alert on the boat prevents many common accidents.
Floating on the water is fun for kids, and they learn valuable lessons every time they climb aboard a boat. Implementing a few safety strategies will ensure that everyone enjoys their trip. As your child demonstrates responsibility on the boat, reward their independence with new opportunities that allow for even more ways to stimulate their development such as handing them a paddle or taking them skiing.