Soundings Online

Here are 13 boating safety tips to keep your kids from harm, make their boating experience enjoyable, and increase the odds they’ll want to go out again. 

1) Give them a properly fitted life jacket. Kids grow quickly, so they may end up in a jacket that’s too small, or an adult jacket that’s too big, which won’t save them in an emergency. A comfortable jacket will be worn; an uncomfortable one won’t. And unless you donate the jackets your kids have outgrown, hang onto them. Someone may bring a smaller child for a ride, and you might just have the jacket they need.

2) Teach the kids to swim early. Check with the American Red Cross or your local YMCA for swimming lessons. It will make boating safer for the kids, but also more fun when they can jump in the water at the next anchoring spot.

3) Have them take a boating course. Boating safety can help reduce the chances of personal injury, and kids may be more invested in the rules when they learn them from someone other than their parent. If an in-person course is difficult to find, an online boating safety course is a good alternative.