There are two “must do’s” every parent should be aware of when it comes to their children and boating safety:
- Make sure your child wears a life jacket properly.
- Actively supervise your children on the boat.
Drowning causes nearly three-fourths of boating accident deaths each year. On average, 84 percent of these victims were not using a life jacket.
I recommend children younger than 14 wear life jackets not only on boats, but near open bodies of water or when participating in water sports.
Make sure life jackets are used properly. They should fit snugly. Have your child raise his or her arms straight up into the air. If the life jacket hits his or her chin or ears, the life jacket may be too big or the straps are too loose. Check out the U.S. Coast Guard’s advice on how to choose the right life jacket and visit www.safekidswi.org for even more safety tips.
What steps do you take to make sure your child is safe while boating? Post a comment and share your safety tips.
Let’s work together toward safety!
~ Lisa Klindt Simpson, coordinator, Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin