sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Photo Gallery FishingBoating Video Gallery Newsletters

 

Sail-World.com : Boating Safety with Kids

Boating Safety with Kids

'Safety at sea is every parent’s concern'    .

When sailing every parent's concern when sailing is the safety of their child at sea. Boating is an exciting and fun family leisure option and by educating away some of the risks, parents can relax and the whole family will gain more from the experience. How do YOU stack up on these safety tips?

Toddlers and Babies

Babies on boats are easy… they don’t move, so strap them into their car seat and bring them along for the ride... you’ll often find that the motion of the boat will induce them into a nice peaceful sleep. Lifejackets for infants are readily available, with specially designed baby life capsules.

Toddlers are the biggest challenge on a boat as they’re not of an age to accept instructions and just want to move and explore all day. This is where a safety harness with tether becomes very useful. Controlled freedom is what it’s all about, so clip them to a secure point near the helm via the tether and they can wander in a 2.5mtr radius to their hearts content.

Keep all small children away from the companion way… yep they love to climb/ stand on stairs, but this surely is one of the most dangerous areas on the boat in a seaway. Even sitting near the open companionway could cause a child to be bounced backwards down the open gap, and is an area that should be closely monitored.

Lifejackets
Lifejackets should be worn on board by children at all times. -  YachtShare?nid=92230  


Lifejackets should be worn by children on board a boat at all times ... no excuses. The reasoning is that children have lesser appreciation of hazards on the boat such as booms, stairs, moving ropes and lines and often less sure footing.

The lifejacket must be of a proper fit and buoyancy rating for the weight of the child and the specifications printed on the jacket should be carefully checked by the adult. There are different types of ‘lifejacket’, ranging from lifevests and buoyancy aids to full lifejackets. Ideally the full lifejacket is the one to choose as this has a neck support to hold the child’s head above the water.

Inflatable Lifejackets are great options as they are very comfortable particularly for the smaller child and will not irritate them hence they will be less reluctant to wear them. Go for the automatic inflation model so that the rip cord does not have to be pulled upon immersion.

Lifejacket Practice


Make sure children get plenty of play-practice and water confidence with their life-jacket. -  YachtShare?nid=92230  
25 Second Lifejackets

Run a 25second lifejacket drill. When the skipper yells ‘Lifejackets’ everyone on board should appear on deck with their lifejacket on and a designated crew member also carries the grab bag of safety gear. Practise this with the family until it’s completed within 25 seconds … no longer.

Does it float?

Your children need to experience jumping into the water with their lifejacket on. As well as being a great advance check of the suitability of the jacket, it is essential that the children have confidence in the flotation of their jacket to reduce the possibility of panic in an emergency… find that nice warm bay and jump off the stern fully kitted up … get them used to swimming around in the jacket so that they learn the effect of the extra buoyancy on their body.

Show your children how to hold the jacket by pulling down gently on the collar while they jump. A fun but valuable practice is to jump in fully clothed with the jacket … your children will not necessarily be in their togs in an emergency and different clothing can affect their flotation.

These practices can be a fun game for children, making them better prepared in an emergency and give parents confidence in the effectiveness of safety measures.

Family as Crew

Engage your family as much as possible in the operation of the boat. More experience and knowledge does lead to less danger. Kids should be shown and encouraged to start/stop the engine, use the manual winches, switch items on the electrical panel on an off, operate the anchor control and trim the sails.


Fishing is a great experience for children when afloat -  YachtShare?nid=92230  
No Go Areas

Every boat should have no go areas…the area forward of the cockpit for instance. Certainly with my own children we have a policy on the yacht of no child forward of the cockpit unless specifically allowed by the skipper. This saves the risk of head/boom collisions and ensures easy monitoring of the family from the helm. We also have a policy of not asking the children to perform any tasks forward of the cockpit whilst underway. Consider your no-go areas and enforce them strictly.

Running on the pier

One of the more dangerous areas of boating is the pier… children just love running up and down and exploring. ‘Walk’ is a word they don’t always hear … Ok… but wear your lifejacket on the pier. The pier is lined with many hazards such as cleats, ropes, hoses and joints. If a child trips or falls from the pier, there are so many boats in the marina, it’s hard to locate a drifting child and also very easy for them to drift underneath the pier or get jammed between boats. Climbing out is almost impossible on their own unless they climb via a boarding ladder of a moored boat.

Every Boatie’s stress point

Berthing the boat back into the marina successfully is the biggest stress point for most boaties. Have a firm rule that all children are sitting safely down below and quiet. The skipper cannot afford any distractions at this time and children squishing fingers between boat and pole is not a pretty sight or sound.


Children just love inflatables -  YachtShare?nid=92230  
Oops who forgot the oars!

Children just love the inflatables and dinghies, and the outboard engine is a huge attraction for the boys. Ensure you teach safe practices and firstly... can they row and are the oars permanently in the inflatable? Insist on life jackets being worn. Monitor the weather and currents. Little arms rowing have a hard time getting back to safety against a strong wind or current. Set boundaries, eg only between the boat and the beach.

One of the bigger danger areas, especially for older children using the outboard, is the danger to swimmers. Ensure your children keep well away from any swimmers, both off the beach and off other boats. Teach them to keep a good look out and to keep their speed down, and to adhere to set boundaries. And, as always, supervision is essential. Little ones can join in the fun too and gain huge satisfaction at mastering rowing, but ensure they are well supervised and remember they can enjoy some measure of independence at the end of a rope.

Who knows how to get home?


Children should know what to do if a paraent is incapacitated. -  YachtShare?nid=92230  
Boating with only your child and yourself on board is a significant risk should you the skipper become incapacitated or fall over board. Make sure your child has rudimentary skills in VHF radio usage, with Coastguard and emergency channel knowledge, electrical switchboard functions, chartplotter position reading and engine start/stop.

Boating is a privilege with children. The quiet family time, the appreciation of nature, the skills and knowledge learned are all invaluable. As with everything there are risks involved, but with sensible safety measures, boating is family life as it should be … safe, fun and most of all … together.




by Laurie Lowther - YachtShare NZ Ltd

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=92230

12:03 AM Mon 26 Dec 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World



The Galley Guys take on the Vancouver International Boat Show by Greg Nicoll with Frank Leffelaar and Friends,


Are you ready to enter that marina? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida












Remember to properly dispose of obsolete distress beacons by Australian Maritime Safety Authority,




World ARC fleet bids farewell to Bali by World Cruising Club,
















World ARC crews in Bali by World Cruising Club,


Could your sailing navigation use a tune-up? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida












The Boat Cookbook by BoatBooks,










World ARC fleet now arriving in Bali by World Cruising Club,






EU Naval flagship- frigate assist yacht twice maydays in pirate zone
An offer a Galley Guy cannot refuse
Dinghy Safety - More to think about
World ARC fleet to enter Indian Ocean for the first time
What can you do to prevent electrocution and ESD?
Pack this sailing gear for 'hands-free' lighting
Salty Dawg Rally Seminar Series planned October 8 in Annapolis
Europe tightens up on skippers competency certification
World ARC fleet departs Darwin under full sail
NOAA expedition discovers ship’s timepiece silent for nearly 200 years
Blue Planet Odyssey - Northwest Passage gate opens
A Cruising Guide to the Dominican Republic 6.0 now available
BNS Leopold I to commence counter-piracy operations
Africa Europe Challenge introduces 'Spectator's Package'
Wanted youth circumnavigators on a 'Voyage of Imagination'
Niagara-on-the-Lake, a popular cruising destination in Canada
The crowd-pleasing comforts of catamaran cruising
Death by Dinghy
'Sailing Stones' of Death Valley seen in action for the first time
Coast Guard searching for two boaters near St. Petersburg
20 coral species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act   
Shanghai to San Francisco in under 2 hours via supersonic sub   
PSP Southampton Boat Show 2014 - 2 for £24 ticket offer ends soon   
A case of crossed wires? A shocking situation!   
How amazingly awe-inspiring the Arctic really is   
New atlas provides thorough audit of marine life in the Southern Ocean   
European Odyssey boats arrive in Lanzarote + Video   
Multiagency rescue at Dunraven Bay + Video   
Canal Boating in the Alsace with the Galley Guys   
World ARC fleet arrives in Darwin   
Dangers of the Dinghy trip back to your boat   
European Odyssey visits Porto   
Timeless Tonga - Charter sailing in a Polynesian paradise *Feature   
A fine conclusion to the ARC Baltic 2014   
Where in the world are our strongest corals?   
Baltic 4 Nations fleet arrive into Stralsund City Marina   
Huff of Arklow nearing completion, expected on the water next month   
Incredible efforts to save yacht from being lost at sea   
ARC Baltic fleet visit six countries and six capitals in six weeks   
Helen Island, Palau -a beautiful and unique place   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT