Drowning is the most common cause of death in children up to the age of four, according to the United States Coast Guard. When boating with minors, safety should be your number one priority. Boating with young children presents unique challenges that need to be addressed. Below are five safety tips when boating with children.

1. Wear a life jacket.
All mariners should follow state laws when it comes to wearing life jackets. Make sure your children have life jackets that fit appropriately for their weight and water activity. 

2. Enroll your kids in swimming lessons.
Knowing how to swim is your child’s critical line of defense against drowning. 

3. Make sure you have emergency gear before getting underway.
Make sure all emergency gear is up-to-date and easily accessible. This includes first aid kits, flares, blankets, radios, and a portable fire extinguisher.

4. Educate your kids on propeller safety.
Make sure your kids know to stay away from the propellers. They don’t need to fear the propellers, but they should be aware of the safety rules that pertain to it. 

5. Be a good role model.
Set a good example by showing your children that you follow safety rules, too. Establish basic safety rules for the entire family.