MONDAY, JULY 14, 2014
Boats are fun for the whole family, including children. But kids may be too distracted by the fun to see that boating can be a dangerous hobby without proper safety rules. It's up to the adults to teach the kids about the importance of following safety rules, such as the following ten boating safety tips for kids.
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- Explain the boating rules before leaving the dock. Make sure all children are listening and understand that safety comes first.
- Ensure that each child has a life jacket that fits comfortably. Ideally, children should wear life jackets at all times while on a boat.
- Everyone on board, especially kids, should wear plenty of sunscreen. Don't forget to reapply every hour! Make sure that if kids fall asleep, they are not in the sun (even if they're wearing sunscreen).
- Bring a change of clothes for each kid on board in case they get soaked or dirty.
- Keep plenty of bottled water on board for hydration. Sodas and juice do not hydrate the body like water does. Snacks are also welcomed treats.
- Be careful when opening and closing hatch covers because they can easily pinch little toes and fingers.
- Teach children how to operate the boat. While only licensed adults should drive, kids can help with other tasks that are essential for smooth sailing.
- Teach children how to use the GPS system. Navigation is something fun that kids can contribute to the outing.
- Prepare in advance for the possibility of seasickness. There are patches, medications and wristbands that are designed to help with symptoms. Keep these on board at all times.
- Keep a first aid kit on board, including items used to treat jellyfish stings. Teaching kids how to treat minor wounds is a good skill for them to learn.
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