Kids on your pontoon are always a challenge. While it can be fun for both you and the little ones, it’s a ton of stress for the adults on board – especially when it comes to making sure the kids are safe. We’ve already covered the best ways to keep your children entertained during those long weekends on the lake, but we’re yet to talk about how to make sure they are safe when they’re running around on the deck or skiing behind your pontoon. Here are the 4 most important safety measures you should consider when throwing the next family gathering on your boat:
1. Equip kids with personal flotation devices (PFD)
According to the U.S. Coast Guard regulations, it is mandatory that every single passenger on your pontoon is equipped with a PFD before you set sail. And while you might take yours off for a little session of sunbathing or whatnot, it’s absolutely crucial that all the kids on your pontoon are wearing theirs at all times. We can’t stress just how important it is to 1) choose a PFD that is a perfect fit for the child, and 2) make sure they are wearing it at all times while on the boat. If you’ve invited friends with children over on the boat, make sure to remind them to bring appropriate flotation devices for their kids.
2. Explain the basic safety rules
This should go without saying, but you should explain the basics of boat safety to the little ones before they step foot on the deck. Remind them to never take off or loosen the flotation devices too much (if you’re feeling like it, you can even make into a little game with rewards at the end), never get too close to the edges of the deck, and so on. You know the deal, just make sure to explain it to the kids in particular before setting sail.
3. Sun protection is crucial
Make sure you always have some children’s sunscreen on board in case you forget to apply it at home. Regular sunscreen will also do the trick to avoid sunburns, but it’s best to opt for a children’s product, as those are usually less harsh on the skin despite having a higher SPF. Broad-brimmed hats are another must, especially if you’re planning to spend the whole day on the lake.
4. Look for child-friendly motion sickness remedies
Children might not be the most hip to gulping down a mug of hot ginger tea (especially in the middle of a hot summer day) to alleviate an upset tummy. That’s why you might want to look for child-friendly alternatives for motion sickness. Acupuncture sea bands might be a good idea, so make sure to add those to your list next time you go shopping for boat essentials. Over-the-counter seasickness medication is also a great option.
There’s not much left when it comes to child safety on board. In the end, it’s all very simple – as long as you make sure they’re wearing flotation devices and sun protection, you’re pretty much ready to enjoy a relaxing day on the deck with your family.