Boating is one of the most enjoyable ways that families can spend time together. (Yes, pets too!) This fun activity is not only an ideal way to slow down life’s fast pace but also to make new memories that last forever. Boating safety needs to be at the forefront of family boating fun. Here are some crucial boat safety tips for families.
Life jackets are a must for kids- Kids should have their life jackets on before they even get on the boat. Anytime they are near the water, they need to have them on. This is because younger kids like to wander so they can easily fall off the boat dock or wander in water over their head. The life jackets need to stay on at all times when in the boat and should not be removed until the child is off the boat and away from the water.
1. Kids should know how to swim– Adults should know how to swim but this is especially true for kids. While it is true that things can happen to even the best swimmers, those that know how to swim correctly will be safer in the long run.
2. Keep an emergency kit on the boat– All boats should have an emergency kit on board. In a floating pouch, keep a first aid kit, flares, maps and fire extinguisher.
3. Use common sense when steering the boat– When boating on the water, keep the boat at safe speeds, especially in areas that are crowded. Also, stay away from larger boats that may have a harder time turning or stopping. In addition, keep an eye out for buoys that are in place for your safety.
4. Tell someone about your float plan– Be sure you tell someone about where you are heading and when you will be returning. Also, give them the names of everyone onboard, your boat type, the registration information of the boat and the itinerary of your trip, even if it’s a day trip.
5. Check the weather before heading out– You want to check the weather conditions before getting into the boat. Also, if you see dark clouds or feel changing winds, it is best to get the boat out of the water.