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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles > Boat Safety and Children

Boat Safety with Children

Summer fun with the family might include trips out to the lake in the boat. This can be a lot of fun, but it is very important to be as safe as possible when carrying children out on a boat. The following are some safety precautions that should be taken to avoid tragedy while out trying to have some summer fun:

• Life Jackets—
It is extremely important (and required by law) that every person in a boat have a life jacket. They don’t have to be on everyone, but there has to be one for each person. Whether or not they have to be on children at all times is a law that may vary from state to state, but you should have one on your child at all times for safety anyway. Even if it isn’t required, you should keep your child as safe as possible, and keeping a life jacket on can do just this.

• No swimming without an adult—
If the water is above the child’s head, and it’s likely it will be the whole time, you shouldn’t let them out of the boat to swim without an adult either in the water or right there watching at all times. Out in the middle of the water, with waves splashing, other boats driving by, the wind blowing, people talking, and more, it could be easy to not hear a child that has gotten flipped upside down in their life jacket and can’t get back up.

• Don’t drink alcohol—
You should never drink alcohol and drive a boat anyway, simply because it’s just as dangerous as drinking alcohol and driving a car, but you should especially not do so when there are children in the boat or near the boat.

• Water skiing—
If you will be water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, knee boarding, or any other pull-behind water activity, it is important to watch the child extremely closely when it is their turn. You shouldn’t go too fast, pay attention if they are waving for you to slow down, and make sure to watch them to see when they fall. Even though they have a life jacket on, when a person hits the water, it can often knock the wind out of them and leave them gasping for air, which can mean that they inhale water. Watching your child so that you can turn around the second they fall can get you back to them quicker and can prevent any dangers from these types of things.

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