Skimming across a serene lake or rushing down a river in a kayak is a fabulous way to spend a summer day. While teens and adults can pilot their own boats with ease, small children do not have the strength or skills needed to go it on their own. Kayaking with small children is doable, but some strict kayak safety tips must be followed.
Kayaking With Children – Life Vests
Certified life vests are a must whenever you go kayaking, but are especially important for small children who may not be able to swim at all or well enough to stay in position in flowing streams and rivers. Visit a boating or outdoors sports store and try on various life vests to find one that fits each kid you intend to go kayaking with. Life vests with a strap that goes between the legs are ideal for small children. They must be worn every single time you go kayaking.
Kayaking With Children – Safety Tether
Children should be tethered to the adult piloting the kayak with a short tether. Nylon web straps or even strong dog leases can be used for this purpose. Hook both ends of the strap to the life vest or around the waist of the adult and child. These tethers will help your kids not be swept downstream in a river if the kayak is tipped over.
Kayaking With Children – Important Rules
Before getting into the kayak with small children, be sure they understand the safety rules of boating. They should never stand up on the kayak, or make sudden movements to the edges. Teaching your child about navigating rivers for maximum safety can be a wonderful life skill as well as an enjoyable afternoon excursion.
Kayaking With Children – What to Bring
Additional safety tips for kayaking with small children include the types of things you should consider whenever engaging in any outdoor recreation. Waterproof suncreen and a hat is necessary for a day on the river. Long, white sleeves or even long light-weight pants will also help reduce the risk of sunburn. To keep cool on hot summer days, these can get gotten wet before setting out in the boat.
Kayaking with small children can be great fun, but certain safety tips must be followed. Preventing sunburn, over-heating, and potential drowning are of the utmost importance. The best defense against disaster is prepartaion and knowledge of kayaking and water safety in general.