5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids
With the holiday weekend approaching, it’s one of the best times of the year to go boating with your kids. Though, this is sometimes easier said than done. Save yourself from the stress, and look to these tips to prepare for boating with your kids of all ages!
1. Make safety your No. 1 priority.
Everyone must have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket or personal flotation device, including the tiniest members of your family. The little ones that are under 6 years old must wear their lifejackets at all times when aboard a recreational vessel less than 26 feet long. These are just a few of the Florida regulations for lifejackets. See the full list here to know the various types one must wear if on a Jet Ski or operating the vessel outside of Florida, for example.
2. Pack more than enough supplies for your boat ride.
When bringing the little ones and the youngsters, there are much more supplies to bring than a few bottles of water. Make sure your diaper bag is stocked with extra pacifiers, swim diapers, baby formula, etc. Of course you’ll want to have plenty of sunscreen, snacks, water, juice and ice pops to keep everyone refreshed and hydrated! An extra change of clothes and plenty of towels are also notables items to bring.
3. Inform everyone of the basic boat rules.
Just like there are house rules, there are also basic boat rules that your children should keep in mind when riding on the boat. Here are a few basic boat rules:
- Hands and feet should be kept in the boat at all times.
- The lifejacket must be worn at all times.
- No running on the boat is permitted since it is often slippery, and there are several places where one could be injured.
4. Create shade.
Bimini tops and covers are great for creating a shaded area when boating with your kids. This helps to shelter them from the heat to prevent them from becoming overheated. In addition, you could bring a beach umbrella or sun hat to add extra coverage.
5. Make it fun!
Boating with your kids is a memorable experience for all ages, especially when there are fun water activities. You may decide to bring your fishing poles and bait, snorkeling gear, water tubes or play a fun round of ‘who can find the most fish!’ If you decide to anchor, plan to bring some floats and beach toys as well!