At the top of any list when it comes to child boat safety, of course, are child lifeguards. Not only do you need to make sure you have enough for each passenger, the PFDs need to be the right size, securely fastened and children, even strong swimmers, should always wear them. While boating with children requires special attention to the safety of the boat, it can still be great fun, and having comfortable, safe life jackets for everyone is the first step.
Another aspect of boat safety for children is getting to know the weather and water conditions in a timely manner. You don’t want to be caught off guard by the wind, waves, and lightning caused by a sudden thunderstorm. Check the forecast and wait and try another day if the weather could change and make the water rough. If the kids still insist on a boat trip, don’t go far and be prepared to abandon the trip.
Review all of the boating rules before getting on the water. When boating with children, you may need to be reminded of simple things, such as: For example, when or if you can stand, what you shouldn’t touch, etc. This is especially important with cold water.
And if one of the boating activities for kids is fishing, spend a little time covering fishing safety issues. For example, changing the casting techniques such as the pole angle and emphasizing the added awareness of potential stumbling blocks and ears can improve boat safety for children. More water safety tips for children can often be found in a small booklet that some states provide when you renew your boat registration or fishing license.
Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After graduating with a degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and the US state of Michigan.