Safe Boating Week (May 22-28)
Hitting the waters is a great family activity during the summer months. Whether it’s a power boat, a family canoe, or a walk on the dock, the risks are the same. Anyone on or near the water without a life jacket is at risk for drowning in the event of an accident. We want you and your family to be safe on the water this year, which is why we are celebrating Safe Boating Week.
If you are driving a boat this summer, we urge you to take a boating education course to refresh on safe boating practices. Also, you can get a vessel safety check every year for free from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons. For more information, visit www.uscgboating.org and click “get a free safety check.”
Follow these simple tips to stay safe on the waters:
- Always have your children wear the right size and type life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats or around open bodies of water or participating in water sports. The life jacket should fit snugly and not allow the child’s chin or ears to slip through the neck opening.
- Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention. Appoint a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults.
- Enroll your child in swimming lessons after age 4 – typically the earliest age when they are likely to practice and retain information. Teach children how to tread water, float and stay by the shore.
- Make sure kids swim only in areas designated for swimming.
- Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool: they need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.
- Do not let kids operate personal water crafts such as jet skis. These are intended for adults and require special training.
- Teach children not to dive into oceans, lakes or rivers because you never know how deep the water is or what might be hidden under the surface of the water.
Play safe~~ Leslie