Boat Safety for Kids

Gear and tips to keep your kids safe while boating

From choosing kid's life jackets that fit just right, to following your state's safety laws and rules, you can maximize fun for kids while staying safe boating.

kids life jacket size

Life Jacket Safety for Kids

The most important thing you can do to ensure your kid's safety on a boat is equip them with a properly fitting life jacket. Kids should wear life jackets whenever they are near on or on the water. In fact, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, federal law requires that when a vessel is underway, children under 13 years of age must wear their lifejacket.

life jackets by stateLIFE JACKET REQUIREMENTS BY STATE: Rules for life jacket requirements by age varies by state in the U.S. Check out this interactive map by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) to find Life Jacket Rules by State.

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Kid's Boat Safety Articles

boat safety kids

Boat Safety for Kids from Baby to Youth

Kids boat safety can change by age – follow these safe boating practices that grow with your kids from baby to young adults Whether you are a new or experienced boater, bringing a baby onto your boat for the first time is probably one of the most anxiety inducing things you can do. As a... READ MORE

kids life jacket size

Is Your Child’s Life Jacket the Right Size and Fit?

In between life jacket sizes? Follow these tips to ensure you are getting the right kid’s life jacket size for your growing child Many parents end up on this site looking for some guidance on what type or size of life jacket they should buy their kids. When it comes to youth life jackets style... READ MORE

safety gear life jackets

Gear up for Safety with the Right Life Jackets for Kids

How to choose the right life jackets for your boat kids by age and weight Water safety should be every parent’s primary concern around the water or on a boat. Balancing your kid’s desire for fun with your need for safety can be a tricky yet essential goal to achieve. The start of each new boating... READ MORE

family life jackets

3 Reasons Parents Should Wear Life Jackets with Kids

We focus a lot on boat safety for kids, but as parents are we always setting the best example for our kids on the water? Yes, kids should wear life jackets when walking down the dock, cruising on a boat (particularly a smaller boat) or even when you are anchored out swimming in the water…... READ MORE

big or small boat for kids

Is a Big Boat or Smaller Boat Better with Kids?

Big vs. small boats – choosing the ideal boat size for a family with kids on board Over the years I have seen families with kids on all types of boats in all size ranges… from smaller bow-riders to larger cabin cruisers (even a few that some would categorize as a “yacht”). What size boat... READ MORE

sun protection tips on boat

Sun Protection Tips and Gear for Kids on Boats

Summer fun in the sun can also mean not so fun sunburn. There is nothing worse than a painful sunburn on the boat… not to mention the long term effects sunburns can have on our skin. As parents we always have to balance our kid’s summertime fun with the need to protect their skin. It... READ MORE

boat safety for teens

Boat Safety Courses for Teen Boaters

Teens on boats need proper boat safety education and training – especially when operating a boat on their own Kids that grow up on the water learn at a very early age the importance of basic boat safety rules for kids. But the level of necessary boat safety knowledge increases much more when kids are... READ MORE

family boating

Safe Boating Tips as a Family with Kids

Basic tips to make boating as a family both safe and enjoyable (for you and the kids) A version of this article originally appeared on Boating can be one of the most enjoyable ways to spend time together as a family. Family boating is a great way to slow down the pace of your daily... READ MORE

boat girl kids book

The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl Book for Kids

Boat Girl children’s book on boating inspires both girls and boys to love the boating lifestyle, teaches boat safety and captures memories on the water The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl is a fun and educational book designed to teach kids (both boys and girls) about the adventures of boating while reinforcing boat safety practices on... READ MORE

kids inflatable life jackets

Can Kids Wear Inflatable Life Vests?

Recommended age guidelines for your child’s safe use of inflatable life jackets One of the coolest advancements in life jacket design has no doubt been the introduction of the inflatable life vest. The less bulky design is an appealing idea for kids that may be reluctant to wear a life jacket. But at what age and... READ MORE

cruising buddy

Docking a Boat Safely with Kids on Board

Handling a boat in and out of a slip while ensuring safety of kids on your boat Even for the most experienced captain, maneuvering your boat in and out of a slip can be a bit challenging… particularly with wind or current conditions. Docking your boat requires patience and concentration. Add a kid or two... READ MORE

baby proof

How to Baby or Child Proof a Boat

Child proof precautions you need to do to make sure your boat is safe for baby As your baby begins to get mobile, one of the first things you do is child-proof your home. You plug all your outlets, put up gates and lock all your cabinet doors. Keeping your boat a safe haven for... READ MORE

puddle jumper boat

Are Kids Puddle Jumper Life Jackets Safe for Boating?

Coast Guard approved Puddle Jumper Life Jackets can help toddlers and kids learn to swim faster – but their use on a boat may be limited If you have a toddler or young kid learning how to swim, then you have no doubt seen Stearns Kids Puddle Jumper Life Jackets. But many boaters wonder if... READ MORE

baby on boat

Is it Safe to Bring a Baby or Infant on a Boat?

Worried about taking your new baby boating? Here’s how to make sure a baby or infant is safe boarding and cruising on a recreational boat As a new parent, it is expected that you may be nervous about taking your new baby or infant on a boat. That anxiety is probably even greater if you... READ MORE