7 Important Tips for Keeping Kid Safe When Around a Boat

7 Important Tips for Keeping Kid Safe When Around a Boat

Boating is a memorable adventure for children, but it comes with risks. Whether you are the boat operator or a parent enjoying the ride as a passenger, you need to be proactive about boating safety. What are some of the essential steps that you can take to minimize safety concerns when boating with children? Read below to find out.

1- Travel at a Safe Speed

Riding in a boat at a high speed is exhilarating, but this thrill comes with risks. The boat operator may not be able to stop fast enough to avoid running into objects or other watercraft. In some cases, objects lying just below the water’s surface cannot be detected and avoided. Hitting these at a high rate of speed can cause serious injury to the boat’s passengers. When operating a boat with children, choose a slower speed to ensure that everyone is comfortable and safe.

2- Use Life Jackets

Whether you rent a boat or own your vessel, you need to be aware of boating regulations in your area. Children must wear a life jacket at all times. For optimal safety, children should wear a life jacket when they are on a moving boat as well as when the boat is docked or anchored. If a child is not a strong swimmer, he or she should also wear a life jacket when swimming away from the boat.

3- Take a Boater Safety Class

Boater safety classes provide essential information on the safe operation of the vessel. They also cover topics like boating laws, passenger requirements, and life jacket rules. Even if you have taken a boater safety course in the past, it makes sense to take a refresher course every few years.

4- Do Not Drink Alcohol

Even one serving of alcohol can impair your judgment. It can impact how well you operate the boat as well as your ability to observe and react to your surroundings. It may also affect how you respond to various situations and make key decisions while on the water. Because even one drink can affect safety, it is best to adopt a no-alcohol policy on your boat.

5- Watch the Kids at All Times

Children are curious and adventurous, and they move quickly. You may turn your head away for only a few seconds to find that the child has fallen overboard or is leaning precariously over the railing. In the water, kids can be submerged on accident or purpose and fail to resurface. If you cannot keep your eyes on the kids at all times, assign someone to this critical task.

6- Avoid Personal Watercraft

Personal watercraft are designed to move at high rates of speed and to be very maneuverable. Often, their operators make sharp turns to catch air or simply for the thrill. As a result, personal watercraft operators may not always be fully aware of their surroundings. You should never assume that they can see you. As a rule of thumb, avoid coming close to personal watercraft.

7- Avoid Overloading the Boat

An overloaded boat is a true hazard. It affects the boat’s weight, agility, and stopping time. It also impairs the ability of the passengers to sit in safe locations while the boat is moving. Know the occupancy limit for your boat, and never exceed that occupancy.

While there are many dangers present when boating with kids, many risks can be avoided with the proper steps. Before you get on the water again with children, consider acting on these important tips.