Getting your children more involved in water activities can be a great way for them to learn new skills and spend quality time outdoors. To get them started on this new endeavor, it’s important to find a protective, well-fitting life jacket. Harbortown Marine in Vermilion, OH, shares some key elements to consider when choosing children’s life jackets.
Children’s Life Jackets: What to Focus On
Select a Life Jacket Based on Activity Level
There are several types of life jackets for various activity levels and water conditions. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) classifies three types of wearable flotation jackets or aids which may be appropriate for children: the offshore life jacket, the near-shore buoyant vest, and the flotation aid. Offshore jackets are bulky and specifically intended for extended survival in rough seas and open ocean. These are not intended for everyday use. The near-shore buoyant vest is best for calm, inland waters and general boating activities, but isn’t intended for extended support in rough waters. A flotation aid is the most lightweight and comfortable of the vests, intended only for calm, inland waters.
Ensure the Correct Fit
Without the proper fit, life jackets will not offer adequate protection. You want to find one that fits your child snugly, yet comfortably. According to the USCG, check the label, as this will indicate the appropriate weight range its intended for. For infants and children under 50 pounds, the jacket may also need to include a crotch strap and a float collar for proper head support. The USCG also says that to ensure the life jacket is a good fit, pick your child up by the shoulders of the vest. If it doesn’t slip above the child’s chin and ears, it’s the right fit.
Consider Style Options
When considering style, an inherently buoyant life jacket is made of floatable foam or neoprene. This style is highly durable and low-maintenance, needing no water action to work. An inflatable jacket will either need to be manually inflated or will deploy upon submersion, but these are sized only for adults and recommended only for people who can swim. A hybrid jacket is a combination of buoyant material and an inflatable chamber and can be used for children. These are ideal for extended wear as they are more lightweight, but they’re not suitable for all water activities and will require regular maintenance checks.
If you’re in the market for life jackets, Harbortown Marine in Vermilion, OH has Everyday Discount Pricing, plus great Clearance Prices on Neoprene Infant Vests & Child Combo Swimsuit-Vests! Put your trust in Harbortown Marine to help you properly fit your infant or child... This marine supply store has provided satisfied customers with everything from boat supplies and life jackets to water skis and towables. To speak with a boating expert, give them a call today at (440) 967-8072, or visit their website for more information.