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Kid’s First Boating Guide

The best thing about summer is the water! Nothing beats the heat better than jumping in a pool, lake, or swimming in the ocean. These kinds of days are great to spend with the entire family. And a fun family favorite is going boating. There are many different types of boats to enjoy. A few favorites are sail boats, speed boats, and canoes. Every different boat is a different type of fun. But remember, Action Donation Services®, America’s premier processor of boat, yacht and watercraft donations to charity believes that boating safety should be your number one priority—and provides this boating guide as a service to the boating community!

Learn to Swim

Knowing how to swim is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe. If you are having a hard time learning, there are swimming classes that can help. If you are scared, just remember that your family loves you. They will keep you safe. It can be scary at first, but once you learn, you can do it forever. You will be so glad you did. Another good thing about swimming is that it is a very fun way to get exercise!

  • Safe swimming will help prepare you for proper boating safety.
  • Water safety games can help you learn everything about staying safe in the water.
  • Boating safety quizzes and activities will help prepare you with the knowledge to keep your boating trip safe and fun.
  • Another fun way to learn about water safety is to test your knowledge with water safety quizzes.

Wear a Life Jacket

Now that you are becoming an expert swimmer, you are ready for a fun boat ride. Do you know the safety rules? Before you get on the boat, you need to put on a life jacket. Life jackets are very important and will make you float, just in case you accidentally find yourself in the water. You can think of a life jacket on a boat is like a seat belt in a car. You must wear one and they are there to help keep you safe, just in case. Seat belts are used to keep everyone in the car safe just as life jackets are used to keep everyone in the boat safe.

  • Anytime you are on a boat, you should wear a life jacket.
  • Find a child size life jacket that fits properly. It should not come up off of your shoulders more than an inch. Do you want to be a Boat Safety Sidekick?
  • If you would like to learn how boats float, you can make your own. Learning how a boat balances will help you understand the importance of wearing life jacket.
  • Remember, without a life jacket, kids don’t float.

Safety on the Boat

You can swim and you have a great fitting life jacket. Now it’s time to learn how to stay safe on the boat. When you get on the boat, you should find a seat and stay in it. Walking around the boat when it is moving is not a good idea. And, do not take your life jacket off until you are back on shore. Before leaving, you can help your parents make sure all the safety equipment is on board. Do you know what you need?

  • There are many boat safety activities that can help you stay safe in the water.
  • Boating safety items such as an oar, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and a distress signal should always be on board.
  • Personal items for water and boating safety include sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, bottled water, and of course a life jacket for everyone.
  • Knowing the parts of the boat is important, too!
  • Don’t forget to check out some of these boating for kids organizaions.

Possible Dangers and What You Should Do

So far, you have done everything right to make your boat ride is safe, but what if something goes wrong? Being prepared can make you safe if something dangerous happens. What if the boat did turn over would you know what to do? You are wearing your life jacket, so you won’t sink. Your first instinct might be to start swimming to shore but that is not something you should do. You might get lost. To stay safe, you should stay with the boat. Grab onto it and stay with your family and friends. Help will come soon.

  • If you can climb on top of the boat, you should. This will help the boating rescue crew see you.
  • If you cannot climb on the capsized boat or cannot hang onto the boat, you should cross your arms over your chest and pull your knees up in a tuck position.
  • When you see a boating rescue crew, you should wave your hands high in the air to let them know that you need help.

How Do You Stay Safe?

All types of boating can be a lot of fun. Boats can be used for sailing, fishing, tubing, skiing, and many other outdoor water sports. No matter what boat you are on, the same boating safety rules apply and you should always follow them. Here are the rules again:

  • Know about water and boating safety. Learn how to swim and never swim alone. Always have an adult or friend with you.
  • Always wear a life jacket that fits you properly. Be sure to have your parents check and make sure it does not come more than one inch off your shoulders.
  • Here is another color and activity booklet. Do the life jackets in the pictures fit properly?
  • Be sure to help make sure all the boating emergency equipment is on the boat.
  • Offer to be a look-out to help watch for dangers in the water.
  • Always stay seated in the boat. Standing can cause the boat to be unbalanced and tip over. Make this boat and learn how it floats.
  • If the boat tips over you should cling to it and stay until boating rescue help arrives.
  • If you can, you should try to climb on top of the boat for safety.
  • Be sure to follow the rules and safety tips for boating and have fun!
  • Your parents might have more rules for your boat. Make sure you don’t forget to ask them!
  • When you no longer need your boat, yacht or watercraft, consider donating your boat to charity to receive a tax deduction.

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