We’re getting closer to National Safe Boating Week (May 21st through the 27th)—and with that in mind, we thought we’d share a quick refresher on one of the most important items on your boat: the life jackets! Specifically, how you can get your child used to the regular use, wear and feel of life jackets during their time on the water.
In today’s blog, we will be sharing a few helpful tips for getting your child acclimated to the idea of life jacket wear when on board.
Lead by example
If your child is hesitant to slip into a life jacket, the best thing you can do is to lead by example. Wear your life jacket—even if you don’t think you need to—to show your child that it’s not just an arbitrary rule, but an inherent part of boating.
Let Fido in on the fun
Dogs wearing clothes are always fun to watch—and you can be sure that your child will love to see Fido donning a bright life jacket for his time on the water! Dogs can (and should) wear life jackets, and demonstrating this in front of your child can be a great way to say that everyone—yes, even our four-legged friends—ought to wear a life jacket while on the water.
Choose bright colors and fun designs when possible
Life jackets aren’t made to be fashionable or fun, necessarily, but kids will often be happier to wear ones that are. Look for life jackets with fun, kid-friendly designs whenever possible. At the very least, pick up life jackets in bright colors (such as the traditional bright orange) to ensure that your child is always easily visible.
Avoid life jacket playtime
If your child regularly comes on board, there are likely dozens of their favorite toys scattered across the deck and interior—but their life jacket shouldn’t be one of them! Have your child avoid laying down on or playing with their life jacket to prevent loss, tears or other mishaps.
Keep life jackets on board
All the training and encouragement in the world won’t work if you don’t have a life jacket for your child on board. Keep your life jackets stored in a safe, easily accessible place so you know they’re always there, ready for use.
Remember, your child’s life jacket is not optional—but there are still ways you can make the practice of wearing one more enjoyable. We hope that these ideas help you get your young water lovers ready for fun on the water this spring and summer.