As boaters, our favorite place to be is on the water accompanied by friends and family. Although we love including our children in all of our boating activities, it is always a main priority of ours to make sure kids understand how to stay safe while on the boat. Here are our top tips and pointers on how to ensure the safety of any children on your boat, so they can enjoy boat days just as much as you do!
Giving your kids a quick safety presentation before heading on the boat is something that is essential to having children onboard. Although it may seem a little repetitive or redundant, it is definitely essential. Many of us can often forget that children forget things easily and need to be constantly reminded of how to stay safe while on board. After all, they do not have nearly as much boating experience as we do and sometimes fail to realize they are doing something dangerous.
We suggest setting some ground rules for the kids to follow such as avoiding the motor and sitting down while the boat is in motion. We also suggest stressing the importance of keeping their life jackets on at all times.
If your children are no longer infants, you may think your days of childproofing things are over. Although your kids may know how to avoid injury at home, it is important to make sure they stay safe while on the water. Childproofing your boat is not only quick and easy, but it also saves lives. Some quick ways to childproof your boat include securing the cockpit and cabin doors and covering the helm, as some kids press buttons without having any clue what they do. Clearing the gear from the cockpit, such as fishing poles and hooks is also very important. Lastly, make sure to never leave the keys in the ignition when the helm is unattended!
This rule is an absolute must when keeping your children safe on the water. Not only does it save lives, but it is also required by law! With that being said, avoid a ticket and protect the lives of your most precious cargo on board and stock up on life jackets. We suggest always having one or two spare jackets on board for extra precaution.
Once your children are in the pre-teen stage, they may express interest in learning more about the boat and how to operate it. After all, they want to take after you and learn how to captain a vessel! In courses like these, kids learn more of the basics of boating operations and safety. Even if your child decides not to get their boating license after taking a course, they will still be able to help out while on the boat and ultimately be safer.
Our final tip is to set a good example for your kids by practice boating safety yourself. After all, they do take after your lead! We understand that sometimes as experienced boaters it is easy to be a little less careful when it comes to being 100% safe on the water, but when children are onboard safety should always be your number one priority.
When done safely, bringing your child on the water will lead to a lifetime of memories. We hope you practice these tips next time you and your family decide to take a day off and spend it on the boat!
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