How to Select and Fit a Life Jacket on a Child | BoatUS


Hi,I’m Chris Edmondson – the Boat US
Foundation as a lifelong boater it’s always given me great pleasure to see
kids out on the water as an adult it’s our responsibility to make sure that
kids enjoy the water safely and a good first step to doing that is to make sure
they have on a properly fitted lifejacket A properly fitting life jacket
should not be too small short nor should it be too big here’s an example of a
lifejacket that is too small you can’t buckle the jacket
here’s an example of a lifejacket that is too big it rides up over her head
this jacket is just right the buckles snap and it’s not too loose or too tight
a properly fitted lifejacket is one that it’s big enough so that all of zippers
or buckles can be fastened properly most life jackets will have cinch straps to
further customize the fit a life jacket should be a bit comfortable but it still
should be pretty snug a good test of fit is to gently pick up the child by the
lifejacket if the jacket doesn’t come up over or above the child’s ears it is a
good fit To help with your selection you should consult the label inside each
life jacket. Only Coast guard-approved life jackets should be considered. Coast
Guard approved life jackets come an Infant, youth, child and adult sizes. An
infant life jacket is for children under 30 pounds since small children tend to
float facedown an added layer of flotation material is added behind the
neck of the child to assure proper buoyancy an infant lifejacket will also
have a crotch strap to help prevent the jacket from riding up over the child’s
head. A child sized life jacket is for children between 30 and 50 pounds it
will typically have either two or three buckles in the front with adjustable
straps once you’ve adjusted it properly tuck the ends of the straps out of the
way so they don’t get snagged this is what a properly fitted child lifejacket
looks like. A youth life jacket is for children who weigh between 50 and 90
pounds if your child weighs in excess of 90 pounds you will need to purchase an
adult life jacket keep in mind however that you
should resist the temptation to purchase an adult life jacket with the thought
that your child will grow into it and as a final thought the best way to
ensure that a child willingly wears your life jacket is to set the example by
wearing one yourself

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