PADDLERsmart! Canada Knowledge Base
Module 02 - Boating Equipment
Children should wear a life jacket or PFD at all times, both on the boat and when they are near the water. When selecting a life jacket for a child, always choose one that has been specifically designed for children, and that fits the child properly.
Never substitute a life jacket for a flotation toy, such as water wings, and never purchase a larger size in the hope that the child will ‘grow into it'.
A children’s life jacket or PFD should have the following features:
- A label or stamp indicating that it is Canadian-approved
- An extra large collar to support the child’s head
- A safety strap that fastens between the legs, to prevent the jacket from slipping over the child’s head
- A grab strap located on the collar
- Reflective material and a safety whistle
Always be sure that children understand how to properly fit and use their life jacket or PFD, and never consider a flotation device to be a substitute for adult supervision. Adult or youth style life jackets are not designed for children, and will not properly protect a child.