(Our FIELD REPORTER is standing on the dock beside a boat. He addresses the camera. He is wearing a lifejacket.)
Boating is a great way to spend time with family. But when you’re on the water, anything can happen. And your child’s safety should always be your top priority—and it starts with finding the right lifejacket.
When buying a lifejacket, check for a label. One from Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, or Fisheries and Oceans Canada means the lifejacket meets Canada’s safety standards.
(A dock with a 12-foot boat tied to it. Beside the boat, a mother is buckling up the lifejacket on her young daughter.)
Second, make sure the lifejacket is the right size for your child. It should fit snugly and not ride up over the chin or ears. Here’s a quick test if you’re not sure of the fit. Check the space between the lifejacket and your child’s shoulders. If it’s more than about three fingers width—the lifejacket is too big.
Third, some of the safety features you may want to consider include: a large collar for head support… waist ties or elastic gathers at both the front and the back… a safety strap that goes between the legs, so that the lifejacket can’t slip over your child’s head… buckles on safety straps, and reflective tape, which makes the lifejacket more visible in darker conditions.
If it doesn’t come with one, you might want to attach a plastic pealess whistle to the lifejacket. This way, in case something does happen… your child can use the whistle to call for help.
Of course, if you want your child to wear a lifejacket, you need to set a good example and do the same. After all, your lifejacket won’t work unless you’re actually wearing it. If there’s an accident, there won’t be enough time for you to find it and put it on. So make sure you’re wearing it before you leave the dock.
(The mother and father put on their lifejackets. The father is standing in the boat. He helps the mother and daughter as they step into the boat.)
Safety is a shared responsibility, help protect yourself and those around you. When you’re on the water, be informed, be prepared, and be safe.
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