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Tips on Keeping Kids Safe on Lake Outings


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There is nothing quite like darting across the water with the wind in your hair and the water flying up at you. If you’re like many parents though, you may hesitate before planning a lake outing because you aren’t sure how to keep your kids safe. No parent wants to imagine their kids falling over the side of the boat or getting tangled in weeds hiding below the surface of the water. There are some simple things you can do before and during your trip to keep your kids safe on the water.

a mom and daughter on a boat

Use the Right Equipment

Using the right equipment is the best way to keep your kids safe on the water. Life vests come in a wide range of sizes, and you should always make sure that your child wears the appropriate size. Though you can rent or borrow these vests, you should consider buying a few if you spend a lot of time at the lake. Pick up a few extra for your kids’ friends too. Kids can also wear these vests while playing near the water or in the water.

Explain How to Act

Sit down with your kids before going to the lake and explain how you want them to act. You can then go over those steps again when you get there. Let them know what they should do if they go over the side of the boat, including putting up a hand to signal they are okay and staying in one place. You can also walk them over to the boat dock lifts and explain that you want them to stand back from the lift as you place the boat in the water. Kids should understand that their actions have consequences and that making the wrong move may cause an injury.

a grandpa and his grandkids walking on a boat dock on a lake

Set Some Ground Rules

Setting ground rules before a vacation is the best thing that a parent can do. Clearly explain that if your kids act our or act in inappropriate ways that you will end the trip early. A crying child is far better than a child with a broken leg. Your rules may include no standing while the boat is in motion, no jumping overboard without permission or a minimum age for driving the boat or riding in a tube behind it. While a lake outing can be fun, you should always put the safety of your children first.

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