Do you think boating with kids is a nightmare? Though it’s a family activity, you might be worried about their safety if you are a first-time boater. The thought of them falling into the water can be scary. We completely understand your worry, so let us appease you.
Your first trip with your 5-year-old on a boat should be on a small lake that offers recreational activities on the shore. Based on the lake’s location, help will be only a few minutes away. With a kid on board, swimming to safety is never safe. It’s better to go on board with complete preparation than be sorry later.
Following are some tips on how to ensure your kid’s safety:
Make Sure They Are Wearing the Appropriate PFD
Two PFDs designated for infants and children include Type II and Type III. These PFDs are available in different styles, including pullover, side entry, and zippered. The life jacket must be comfortable and shouldn’t inhibit free movement.
- Type II PFD
This PFD has a padded collar that offers head support, keeping your kid’s face up and above the water line.
- Type III PFD
Training is required to ensure your kid knows how to use this PFD in an emergency. Since it is for bigger kids above the age of 3, they offer more comfort.
A few other features you should look for in a PFD include:
- Grab handles
- Groin panels and leg straps to prevent the PFD from riding up
- Reflective panels and bright colors for visibility
The one trick kids should be taught is swimming on their backs. Knowing how to do this will calm them if they fall into the water. While a life jacket will do all the work, they must know how to swim to safety on your signal.
Create Safe Zone
A safe zone will make your child feel secure and comfortable. Turn a small berth into a play corner with paddle pillows and put in your kid’s favorite toys to distract them when they feel seasick.
Clip Them In
If you have a naughty kid on your hands who likes to explore, a great way to ensure they don’t fall into the water is to clip them. The leash should be big enough so the kids can move freely but small enough to prevent them from tipping overboard.
In conclusion, you can boat with your 5-year-old! Just make sure they wear the right life jacket and know the dos and don’ts of boating. Enrolling them in a swimming class will come in handy and give you the peace of mind that if an accident occurs and they fall into the water, they will know not to panic. The life jacket will provide plenty of protection and keep them afloat until help arrives.