Sailing with children is one of the most gratifying experiences a parent can give, the unique experience of moving on water on a floating vessel is like no other. From the sights and beauty of the sea to the technological marvel of modern boats, it is a world of wonder and excitement for kids and with that comes the importance of guaranteeing everyone's safety, especially children, whose physical abilities are still developing.
Kids life vests are abundant today, with many manufactures and types, allowing a variety of life vests for various uses, such as water sport floatation vests, swimming aids and emergency life vests. When looking for a suitable life vest some characteristics should be considered, such as the rated weight, securing straps, head support and such, all
considerations when buying a kids life vest.
Generally, emergency kids life vests have a very specific orientation, the majority of the buoyancy is located forward, resulting in keeping the child to float face up at all times. In addition to this feature, a buoyant head support is standard in order to assure the head stays above water. And so with these two features you can rest assured the kids life vest will keep the child face up until aid comes.
Other types such as swimming aids and water sports kids life vests might have a different buoyancy orientation to allow the freedom of movement during activity, either face down or symmetrical, these types of kids life vests should be used in specific situations and used by children who are capable swimmers and not for emergencies.
Some inflatable kids life vests are available that inflate, either with water contact or manually, and are less cumbersome to walk around on deck with. These are lightweight and comfortable vests that should be considered for long term cruisers.
Different types of Kids Life Jackets
Each type of kid's life vest comes with its own securing design, such as zippers, velcro or string, which are used to close the vest around the body of the child and straps and buckles to secure the vest so it does not shift around or chafe the child's skin. The life vest should be relatively easy to wear, or in most cases, easy for the parents to put on the child, so if a specific system appeals to you more than another then go for it. In general, kids' life vests should have a crotch strap, it's a strap that connects the front and back side of the vest with a strap that runs between the child legs, this is to prevent the vest from pushing forcefully against the child's chin as the vest floats and the child tends to sink.
Various colors and apparatuses are available for various vests purposes, bright colors and reflecting patches are used for emergency kids life vests, where less conspicuous colors are used for water sports vests. The classification standard the vest complies with will dictate the requirements for the different vest characteristics, such as a whistle or water activated light ocean/offshore life vests, in addition to structure and floatation design.
kids life Jackets- Not just boat accessories
For sailing kids, the life vest becomes part of the norm and it might be used daily, therefore, it is of the highest importance that the kids life vest is actually comfortable. A child with a properly adjusted and comfortable vest will be safer and happier at sea, and the parent will benefit from the situation.