'Everyone got a life jacket?' It's a simple question boat owners often ask when heading out on the water. However, for younger guests who require the right-sized life jacket that answer isn't always 'yes.' There may be only adult-size life jackets on board, kids may have simply outgrown their life jacket, or perhaps some younger guests joined the outing at the last minute.
To help get kids in right-sized life jackets, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety's Kid's Life Jacket Loaner Program
now offers over 530 locations across the country - marinas, boat clubs, waterfront businesses and even fire houses - where kid's life jackets in various sizes (up to 90 pounds) can be borrowed at no cost for the afternoon, day or weekend. Over 40 new loaner locations have been added this year.
'Kids wearing an adult life vest provides a false sense of security because they can easily slip out once they hit the water,' said BoatUS Foundation Program Manager Alanna Keating. 'It's better to make a pit stop at one of our loaner locations
and grab one that fits. All you have to do is sign it out and return it when you are done. It's that simple.' Across the country the program on average loans out over 90,000 life jackets each year, and at least three children's lives have been saved since it began in 1997.
For more information on the program or the life jacket laws in your state, please visit www.BoatUS.com/Foundation/LJLP
The program is largely funded by the half-million members of Boat Owners Association of The United States.