Safety Tips for Boating with Babies

Safety Tips for Boating with Babies
Water safety is important for everyone, but we want to be extra careful when it comes to boating with babies and toddlers. In today’s post, we’ll go over some quick and easy tips to help you keep your little ones safe on the high seas.

Use a Coast Guard Approved Life Jacket

No matter how old or young your passengers are, everyone one needs a life jacket. As we’ve mentioned in our earlier articles, not all life jackets are created equal. In fact, some life jackets and floatation devices can be downright dangerous. Swimmies, for example, are a major safety hazard. Before boating with babies or any young children, you should be absolutely sure that you’re using a life jacket that was approved by the United States Coast Guard. These will offer the best possible protection for you and your little ones. This website for the Coast Guard will provide additional helpful guidelines and detailed information about infant life jackets.

Additionally, life jackets should be worn by anyone who is near the water. That includes babies and toddlers! After all, safety comes first.

Active Supervision for Boating with Babies

When they are near the water, children always need active supervision. That is especially true when you’re boating with babies. In a nutshell, active supervision means having a responsible adult responsible for keeping a close eye on the kids at all times. This is a very important job, so the supervisor should not be distracted by their phone, book or even a conversation with other adults. Proper active supervision takes focus and dedication.

Create a Safe Area for Kids to Relax

On a boat, the seas can always become unexpectedly rocky. People may be running around or making quick movements. That’s understandable, but this is why it is crucial to set aside a safe space for your little ones. This should be a place where kids and their caretaker can sit and chill out. It should have close access to safety equipment, as well as toys. While the boat is in motion, a child should be held securely in an adult’s arms. For best results, keep the baby in your lap with your arms holding them tight. Creating this calm, safe area on the boat will reduce the risk of your little ones crawling around or ending up in harm’s way.

Check the Weather Before Hitting the Waves

Our last bit of advice is just a good idea no matter when you’re heading out on the water: always check the weather! Being caught in the rain while on land can be uncomfortable, but when you’re on the open water it can be deadly. Unexpected rocky waves when you’re boating with babies and toddlers can result in terrible tragedy. To make matters worse, a lightning storm can add even more danger to the mix. The potential risk of electric shock is nothing to ignore. If there’s a storm warning, it’s probably a good idea to reschedule your boat outing.

Beyond the rain, you should always keep the sun top of mind as well. The blazing heat can be far too intense for little ones. You see, babies and toddlers have more sensitive skin than adults. Too much exposure to damaging UV rays, can cause a lot of damage. Be sure to provide your kids with a hat and bring plenty of sunscreen. If it is at all possible, keep a section of your boat under the shade or a canopy. If the sun is too intense, consider calling it a day early. In the end, the kids will be glad you did.