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Choosing a Life Jacket
Drowning prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Inadequate life vests can be as dangerous as no life vest at all. Choose life jackets that are labeled “Coast Guard Approved.”
Everyone who is on a boat should wear a personal flotation device (PFD). A variety of types are available for different water sports, and they also come in different sizes. Check the manufacturer’s label to see the activities and conditions for which the PFD is appropriate. Have each family member try on his or her PFD before you purchase it to make sure it fits properly and comfortably.
Personal Flotation Devices such as a lifejacket or vest can be buoyant or inflatable and come in many sizes and styles. PFD’s are worn 63% of children 5-14 years on contrast to 91% for children under 5 years while boating.
Personal Floatation Devices (PFD’s)
- ALL NON-SWIMMERS should wear PFD’s when they are near water.
- Each person on board any small craft or boat of open construction should wear a PFD.
- Choose & wear only those PFD’s that bear the label "U.S. Coast Guard-approved".
Other floatation devices on the market, designed to serve as teaching aids, are good for teaching situations and may be used as aids to assist swimmers, but they should not be relied on as lifesaving devices.
THE 3 ESSENTIAL RULES OF WATER SAFETY
Test & Teach
Have your child’s swimming skills tested at your local YMCA.
Watch & Guard
Appoint an adult to supervise all pool activities. Add barriers around your pool.
THROW, DON'T GO
Throw out a flotation device or use a pole to reach a drowning child. Never jump in to save.