Ready to go to the beach, boating, or tubing this summer? It’s best to pre-plan before you get there! You know how fast your little ones can be. While you think you are watching them, are you really? Maybe you are getting everything out of the car for the upcoming picnic, and your child starts to wander. When it comes to Infants and toddlers, remember it only takes seconds for accidents to happen, and drowning can occur in as little as 20 seconds. Putting a life vest on your children immediately after exiting the car, can easily be the difference between life and death.
To Wear or Not to Wear? Swimming in open water is way different than in the pool!
One of the best boating safety tips for children and adults in open water is to wear a life jacket at all times. This includes all larger bodies of water such as lakes, oceans, rivers, or springs- regardless of whether you are actively swimming or not. Life vests should be fitted correctly and worn at all times while on a boat (in motion, docked, or anchored), and all other water vehicles. Keeping a life vest on at ALL times can seem like overkill, but even if you have an older child or an advanced swimmer, they likely have spent most of their time practicing swimming in a pool, and not in open bodies of water. These are vastly different skills, and your child might be unprepared for currents, the depth of water, or how disorienting dark water gets when going under.
Even though your child has been taking swimming lessons, it does not mean they are “Safe.” We in the swimming world know that children can never be totally “Safe.” We use the word, “Safer,” because that is what we are trying to do- make your child safer. Watching your child and life jackets are just a couple of ways to keep your child “SAFER.”
Have a great and “safer” summer!