Children’s Life Jackets and Other Boating Safety Tips

Each GBC boat is loaded with children's life jackets—use them while doing water sports as well!
Each GBC boat is loaded with children’s life jackets—use them while doing water sports as well!

Children’s life jackets are a must in terms of boat safety.

There’s also a lot more that Gulfstream Boat Club offers to keep your family safe on a boating trip or fishing cruise.

Every new GBC member receives a free boating orientation. We’ll show you how to operate a boat, the features of each model, and of course where the adults and children’s life jackets are located. We require that children under the age of six wear a life jacket, and we strongly recommend it for older children and adults while on board, or when waterskiing, tubing, or doing other water sports.

Gulfstream Boat Club prides itself on keeping our boats expertly maintained and safe; and for you as a member, it’s one of the top benefits. Why own a boat?

Did you know that preventable injuries are the #1 cause of death of kids in the United States? Children’s life jackets are no joke. Here are some other boating safety tips to ensure a safe cruise from Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries.

Boating Safety Tips

Wear a Life Jacket

• Always have your younger children wear a life jacket while on boats, during water sports, or even on the dock. And make sure the life jacket fits snugly by having the child make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up. If the life jacket hits a child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
• According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety, babies should not travel on a boat — including rowboats, kayaks, motorboats, and sailboats — until they are at the appropriate weight to wear an approved personal flotation device (PFD); and no, car seats don’t count.

Keep Little Kids Warm

• Even if it’s a warm, sunny day when you take off on your South Florida cruise, the weather can change quickly.
• And infants and young kids are at a higher risk for hypothermia. If your children seem cold or are shivering, wrap them tightly in a dry blanket or towel.

Teach Your Kids Basic Boating Rules

The basic boat rules should be followed by everyone. Children need to be taught to keep their hands and feet inside the boat at all times, and not run in or around the boat.

Better Safe than Sorry

• A large portion of boating accidents involve alcohol consumption. To protect your safety and loved ones around you, hire a GBC captain if you’re thinking of drinking on the boat. We’re happy to be your designated driver!
• All GBC captains have CPR training. If you’re thinking of taking out a boat without a captain, it’s great to have someone on board who has had CPR training as well. Local hospitals, fire departments and recreation departments offer CPR training.
• All drivers of a GBC boat must be 25 years of age. Florida law states that no one under the age of 14 may operate a personal watercraft at any time. If your teens would like to fish or cruise without you (gasp!), we’ll provide a fun and responsible captain to safely drive the boat. Oh, and Children’s life jackets are free!

Have you been a GBC member for a while, and would like a refresher course on our boats and boat safety? Or would you like a family member or two to have one as well? Just give us a call at GBC at 561.865.7797 to schedule!

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