If you are watercraft-riding moms and dads, you’ve most likely have dealt with the problem of when to enable your child to come along for a spin. If they’re just beginning to walk, you will need to have them outfitted them with a personal flotation device, wedged them between the two parents and take them for a fairly uneventful trip on the jet ski. If you are in the Myrtle Beach area, stick to the calmer waters of inland waterways or marshes.
But exactly what do you really have to learn about safe riding with children?
“Safe boating with children can be a fantastically enjoyable and a great experience for all,” suggests Cathy Ferriss, a licensed YMCA Aquatic Teacher. “It does, nevertheless, require a little thought, preparation, and planning — however what doesn’t when you include kids!”
Certainly, safe boating of any kind with kids begins with a properly fitted personal flotation device (PFD). Try on different designs on for the child’s comfort, however, always verify that the vest is Coast Guard-approved and that it is the right one for your kid’s weight. That details will be stamped on the within the vest. “The life jacket should go on the child prior to them getting near the watercraft or boat,” says Ferriss. “Water is moving and is shiny. You will have your hands full of items, which is when your child will go straight for the water.”
Young children (normally under 4 years and 50 pounds) are well served with a Type II PFD, recognized by the “pillow” behind the kid’s head. Why the pillow? It’s simple to teach kids to lean their heads back against it; that will keep their face upright, provide more stability, and permit the kid to remain on their back and unwinded. This kind of PFD also features a handle, which a rescuer can use to tow a child to safety while staying securely out of reach of flying hands. Before you climb up aboard the watercraft, let your child get used to the safety vest, both in and out of the water. Vests must fit comfortably, giving no greater than 3 inches when lifted at the shoulders, and with the crotch strap safely attached.
When to begin? The Coast Guard recommends leaving babies at the dock up until they are at least 18 pounds (typically shy of one year). Good sense dictates that your son or daughter not be brought aboard any type of boat until a PFD fits them appropriately, and will stay safe. USCG statistics reveal over half of the boating deaths of children under 13 are a result of drowning, the majority of which could have been avoided had the kid been wearing an effectively fitting PFD.
About where to put a little one, select the middle between two responsible adults. Kids like to ride in front, however, there’s too much of a possibility that their face could come in contact with the handlebars when you slow suddenly or encounter rough water. Keep speeds slow and controlled, slowly increasing the thrill of the ride with age. Prevent any crazy maneuvers; it’s far too simple for a kid to be thrown from the jet ski. Sluggish and regulated is the way to go.
In case your kid does go overboard, practice your response. Presuming there are at least 2 adults on board a three-passenger PWC (prevent solo parent duty on a Myrtle Beach Jet Ski — a driver’s interest needs to be focused on the water, not on a child), have the back parent or adult take control of the situation. That individual should inform the driver to instantly stop the engine and remain aboard, study the scene for traffic and security dangers, then get in the water. Swim to the child, keeping the head above water to maintain constant sight. In reality, someone must be appointed to keep tabs on a child at all times while on board, no matter what size the watercraft.
At Action Water Sportz we never send anyone out alone. You will always be accompanied by a guide who is fully trained in safety procedures.
Call us today to schedule a day for fun for your entire family.
Action Water Sportz
1525 13th Ave N
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
Action Water Sportz Barefoot Landing
2051 Bridge View Ct
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
Action Water Sportz Little River
4430 Kingsport Road
Little River SC 29566