Good Boating Safety Habits Early
Life Jackets Save Lives
you consider taking off in your car without strapping your kids
into seat belts? Probably not. First, because you care about the
safety of the kids in your care and second, because it's the law.
you get on board a boat the same concern for safety should motivate
you to make sure that everyone, but especially younger less experienced
swimmers, wear life jackets.
have laws that require boat operators to make sure that jackets
are available, but when adults go boating, jackets are often more
decoration than safety device. Like seat belts, there are as many
excuses for not wearing them as there are good reasons to tie
When it comes
to kids, the choice is less open. Most states require any children
on a boat that is underway to be properly protected by a life
jacket that fits them.
Department of Wildlife (NDOW), the state's safe boating agency,
issues a friendly warning. NDOW
game wardens are getting worried about an increase in the number
of children not wearing their lifejackets when riding in a boat.
see it on boats of all sizes, but an area where we may have some
real problems is on houseboats, said David Pfiffner, supervising
game warden for NDOW. Kids go in and out of the boat's
interior, similar to going in and out of the house when at home.
Once inside they take off their life jackets only to forget to
put it back on when they go back outside.
and guardians need to keep track of the children in their care
and make sure they are wearing their life jackets, Pfiffner
said. A life jacket laying in the bottom of the boat or
stored under the seat does little good in an emergency.
if the boat is not beached, at anchor or tied to an object that
prevents it from drifting or moving, the boat is underway and
kids less than 12-years old should be in a life jacket,
said David Pfiffner, supervising game warden for NDOW. The
motor does not necessarily need to be running nor the sail raised
for a boat to be considered underway.
boating safe and happy. Use those vests and set up good habits
for the young sailors on your boat.