If you are new to boating and want to take your kids out on the water, you are about to gain a new experience in your life. Boating can be a perfect way to have fun and create lifelong memories with your family. Also, it can help your children develop valuable skills they can apply later in their lives.
Once people figured out that they can use boating for leisure and fun, it became a very popular family activity that helps minimise distractions from the outside world and lets everyone focus on family time.
But before going on a boating adventure, there are some regulations you need to respect to have a secure and safe adventure. That being said, no matter if you go near the shore for a day trip, or you are planning to explore unknown waters for a couple of days, you should always be equipped with safety equipment such as IDs and proper documentation, distress signals, batteries and connections and a first aid kit.
That is why, before leaving the land, you should always make a list of things that you must have on board. Obviously, the single most important thing you can do to prevent accidental boat-related drowning is to always have life jackets on board. But what about life jackets for kids?
Why Are Life Jackets for Kids Crucial?
Life jackets for kids are available in different sizes and colours and come in varieties of designs suitable for different kinds of activities. They are usually made of thick insulated material that can keep the body temperature warm while out in the water.
So in case your boat sinks, life jackets can keep your kids warm and eventually safe their lives. In other words, if you are all stuck in the water awaiting rescue, you are not going to freeze to death because life jackets can help maintain your body temperature and keep you warm.
These are especially important for young children and babies who don’t know how to swim. In fact, infant life jackets designed for safety ensure that no matter if the child falls into the water with their head down, they will automatically turn over with their face in an upright position so they can breathe and avoid suffocation.
But even if your kid is an Olympic gold medalist in swimming, wearing a life jacket is obligatory. There are a lot of people who think that they are great swimmers, but when faced with fear, they react differently and, in most cases drown in an instant.
So, if you don’t want to put your life at risk and the life of your kid, apart from equipping the boat with life jackets for grown-ups, you should always consider purchasing approved infant life jackets that meet all Australian standards. That way, in case the boat sinks, there will be little chances even good swimmers to be overcome by currents, cold water or become overly tired.
How to Properly Choose Life Jackets for Kids
As mentioned, the most important thing when buying a child life jacket is to make sure that it’s approved and made according to Australian standards for life jackets.
Furthermore, you should never buy a life jacket that is too big for your kid in order to grow into, because it cannot be safe and it can slip off if your child wiggles. That is why you should always check the label to be sure it’s the right fit for your child’s height and weight.
Remember – life jackets that are meant for adults are certainly NOT meant for children. Adult jackets can be too big and this can be very dangerous in the water as an over-sized jacket can ride up, covering part of your child’s face. Also, if there is a lot of movement it won’t be kept floating and above the water. On the other hand, if the life jacket is too small, it may not provide the right amount of support for your child’s weight.
In order to be certain it’s the right fit, have your kid raise their arms straight over his head and ask him to seize the tops of his arm openings and gently pull up. If there is excess room above the openings and the child life jacket rides up over his chin, that means that the jacket doesn’t fit properly.
After you dress your child with a life jacket, make sure it is properly zipped and secured.
Different Life Jackets for Different Purposes
There are a variety of children life jackets designed for different purposes. That being said, life jackets designed for calm waters may not be sufficient for saving your kid from drowning in wild, open waters. Also, if you need a jacket for water sports, you should make sure it’s specifically designed for that kind of sport. That being said, your kid might need more than one life jacket in order to cover the range of water activities they take part in.