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Big kids love to boat, help keep them safe and learn tipsThis is a great age to include children in your on-the-water fun. Of course, teaching your children to stay safe onboard is a part of the process. Here are a few safety tips to help.

Top Safety Tips

  • Always have your children wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) while on boats, around open bodies of water or participating in water sports. Here's some more information on how to choose the right PFD.
  • Remember that things such as water wings, noodles and other swimming aids are fun toys for kids, but they should never be used in place of U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFDs.
  • Explain some basic boat rules and have everyone follow them. Children need to understand and follow rules such as keeping their hands and feet inside the boat at all times and not running on a boat.
  • Every child is different, so enroll children in swimming lessons when you feel they are ready.
  • 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. Adult supervision is a must.

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