It’s a given that kids love playing in the water. That’s why going boating with the family is an activity that’s always greatly anticipated by the little ones. It’s also a given though, that kids can get hyperactive and even reckless, especially once the excitement and all the sugar they had for the day kicks in. This is why it is very important that you sit your kids down and explain to them the safety measures everyone needs to follow during your day out in the waters.

Whether you’re going to be on rigid inflatable boats or aluminium boats , here are the boating safety guidelines you need to impart to your young ones.

1. PFDs need to be worn at all times.

No matter how good of a swimmer your kid can be, he still needs to wear his personal flotation device (PFD) for the duration of the boating activity. If he hits his head, gets unconscious and falls into the water, he won’t be able to swim to safety. If he gets injured, he might also have a hard time staying afloat. Wearing a PFD, he’ll be safe if ever he falls out of the boat.

2. Hands and feet should be inside the boat while it is underway.

It is very easy for these to be injured when they are out in the water. Having hands and feet out in the water raises the risk of hitting the propellers. Aside from risking your safety, having your hands and feet out in the water would be breaking maritime guidelines and you could incur penalties because of this.

3. No standing up or running around while the boat is moving.

As the boat is very slippery there is always the risk of falling onto the deck or into the water. This is why there should be no running around and, as much as possible, no standing up while the boat is moving. Another reason for this is to maintain the balance on the boat and prevent it from capsizing.

4. There’s a difference between open water and pools.

Being in the open water means having to deal with river or ocean currents and uneven surfaces. This is very much different from swimming pools where the flow of water is secure and unchangeable and where you are familiar with the pool surface. Make sure you explain this to your kids.

5. Basic emergency procedures.

If your kids are old enough to understand, it is also important to teach them emergency procedures just in case something goes wrong during your boating activity. Make sure they know where the emergency items, like flares, emergency beacons and radios, are placed inside the boat and that they know how to use these. Also ensure they know the H.E.L.P. and huddle emergency positions.

When going out into the water, we never want anything unfortunate to happen to us. But we must always be ready, especially if there are kids around. These basic safety measures will help prepare your kids for a trip out in the waters.

At Waves Overseas, we have a range of safety equipment available online, from PFDs to first aid kits. We also offer kayak and canoe equipment including sit-on-top and tandem kayaks . Browse our range of products and contact us today.