Boating With Kids Tips
Florida for us is definitively synonym of water. The pool, water play, car washing, beach going and inventing all sorts of games that involve getting wet are on the itinerary just about every weekend in the year! This also includes a lot, a lot of rain in South Florida, and this is the only time we strive to keep dry because Florida is also lightning abundant!
Despite the crazy amount of rain that downpours on us, we do get so many boat days in, it is an implicit competition with the God of thunderstorms in the race to beat him out of the rainy days. That said. Please do not go boating without checking the weather. Definitively storms are not the time to be on open waters. Much less with little ones.
Because of all the water around Florida, or wherever you are that you can enjoy water activities we believe that wether you are a seasoned mariners or not, it is always good to go over some boating tips to keep in mind when out on water with little ones:
- First and foremost make sure kids are wearing a life jacket. Not any jacket will do, make sure the jacket is appropriate for the size of the child. The best way to determine this is to have the child raise up their arms as if making a “touchdown” sign when wearing the jacket. If the jacket reached the chin or ears it might be a size too big for them. The idea is for the life vest to fit snugly. If you have an infant on board it is not a good idea to have them strapped on a car seat or anything else. The best alternative is for you to hold them tight while you wear a life jacket.
- A good idea is to put the lifejackets on before getting on the boat in case they accidentally fall over at the dock
- Make sure all toys, towels, etc. are stowed away neatly so they don’t fly away, and potentially become harmful projectiles, or buckets lying around that could make someone trip over.
- Don’t forget plenty of sunscreen. This can also be done at the parking lot
- Let the kids know that arms, legs, and heads must be inside the boat at all times.
- Prohibit running on the boat and sitting on the rails.
- Have everyone sit before starting the boat so no one blocks the drivers view or loose their balance.
If you plan to jump in the water, make sure to explain to the children that swimming in open water is very different to swimming in a pool. They need to be aware of uneven surface, and the fact that there is always a current present. The best setting is enjoying the water is swim designated areas.
Also, tell kids not to dive into the water because the depth of the water is unknown as well as rocks and other hidden objects that might harm them upon entry to the water.
Water, water, water calls for brushing up on swimming skills, or making sure all the munchkins around us know how to swim, so we all can truly enjoy the splashing safely.
Now off to the water!!!