Sailing is an activity you’ve always enjoyed, so it’s only natural to share your love of being on the water with your children. Including your kids in your sailing adventures offers them life experiences they can’t encounter anywhere else and gives all of you stories to tell for years to come. However, water-based recreation can be dangerous if the proper precautions aren’t taken, so it’s extremely important that you do everything you can to keep your family safe.
Every person on your sail boat should have a life jacket and children need to wear them at all times, even if they know how to swim. Life jackets not only help people stay afloat if they happen to fall out of a boat; certain styles can actually keep you warm if you find yourself in cold water. Look for lifejacket that meet the requirements of the U.S Coast Guard and also be familiar with your state’s regulations regarding children and life jackets.
A further safety consideration taken by SailFarLiveFree.com is to have children harnessed and tethered wherever they are on the sailboat. This will help keep them from being tossed about the deck when you’re cruising along the water, even in the calmest of conditions.
Of course, being on the water can lead to a case of seasickness, and an upset stomach can ruin the fun. To ward off seasickness before it strikes, Navigare Yachting advises that kids sit in the fresh air as much as possible and eat properly before getting on the water.
Also, be aware that the sun can also affect your fun day of sailing. UV danger is magnified when sunlight reflects off the water, so apply adequate, water resistant sunblock to yourself and your children and wear hats, too. It’s vital to your children’s are protected from the sun to avoid a case of sunburned eyes and temporary blindness, which is what CNN anchor Anderson Cooper experienced late last year. Real Kids Shades’ Xtreme Sports sunglasses are a perfect choice for sailing because they offer 100% protection from UV rays and shatterproof, impact-resistant lenses and fames.
And don’t forget to keep kids involved in the experience. TheSailingAcademy.com suggests giving children specific duties to do such as a lookout for younger children. Older children can have jobs such as navigation, hoisting and trimming sails, and anchoring. The more involved kids are, the more they’ll enjoy the experience.
Does your family enjoy sailing together? What do you do to make sure everyone has an enjoyable experience? Share with us in a comment below.