No disponible en español

Why wear a lifejacket?

Why wear a lifejacket?


Even good swimmers drown. Deaths from drowning are preventable tragedies that can affect anyone in or around the water. Wearing a life jacket is a simple life-saving technique and more people need know when to wear and how to choose a life jacket.

Choosing the Right Life Jacket

No matter what the water activity or life jacket style chosen, the most important thing is this: Remember to be responsible—always wear a life jacket when boating and when needed to ensure safety while in or near water.

Who Should Wear a Life Jacket

  • Inexperienced or non-swimmers in pool or open water situations when other layers of protection are limited.
  • Preschool children—those about 5 years and younger—who are not protected by touch supervision either in or near the water. Touch supervision means being within an arm’s reach of the child(ren) at all times.

Try It On

  • Check the manufacturer’s ratings for your appropriate size and weight. There are many manufacturers and styles so fit may differ.
  • Choose a life jacket that fits properly: Life jackets that are too big will cause the flotation device to push up around your face, which could be dangerous. Life jackets that are too small may not be able to keep your body afloat.
  • Make sure the life jacket is properly zipped and/or buckled.
  • Check for fit by raising your arms above your head while wearing the life jacket and ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings and gently pull up. The life jacket should not ride up over your chin or face.
  • Ensure your life jacket fits properly with no excess room above the arm and neck openings. A snug fit in these areas shows the life jacket fits properly.

In addition, it is recommended that everyone who is in or around open water wear a life jacket as an extra layer of protection, especially outside of a lifeguarded area.