Making a Big Splash: Playing it Safe with Water Sports

If your family is heading out to a lake or ocean, try some new activities –but keep these tips in mind.

Vacation time is upon us and that means plenty of river tubing, beach combing, speed boating and all things aquatic. So that your well-deserved vacation is the stuff that good memories are made of, review these safety tips and share them with your family so that everyone has a truly magical time playing in the water.

  1. Know your equipment. Become familiar with the capabilities of your water sports equipment: tube, life vest, paddle, even helmet if you are riding a jet ski. It’s important to follow to the manufacturer’s recommendations with regard to size and weight, number of riders, age limits, and maximum towing speed.
  2. Older kids help younger kids. Make it the older kids’ job during your vacation to look out for the little ones. They can help with equipment, and keep an eye on them as an extra safety measure.
  3. Always wear a vest when on a boat. While it’s usually required to wear a PFD (personal flotation device) when you rent a boat, it’s also important that you should wear a life jacket when tubing.
  4. Check weather and sea conditions before heading out. Even on the most beautiful of days, the ocean can be unpredictable. Surfers and scuba divers are usually trained on how to spot dangerous rip currents, but if you are snorkeling or wake boarding, you can also get caught in one. Check the weather and if you have someone like a lifeguard you can consult with, check in before you go out.
  5. Use the Buddy system. No one young or old should go out in the water by themselves. Make sure the kids understand this and that they have designated partners when they play in the water, even if it’s at home in the pool!
  6. Know water regulations Make sure you are familiar with the specific regulations governing the body of water you’re boating or jet skiing on, particularly speed limits.
  7. Drive Responsibly. While vacationing, we adults tend to indulge in a beer or a margarita, but if you are operating anything at all, you should be alert, sober, and have a solid grasp of boating rules.       Designate a driver for boats, even if it’s slow motorboat.
  8. Make a checklist for incidentals. It’s a good idea to carry things like sunscreen, keys and phones in a watertight container. Also make sure that everyone covers up, reapplies and drinks plenty of water.
  9. Label your gear! This is something people often forget to do, and then they lose or mix up their possessions with other vacationers.       Throw a Sharpie in that watertight kit just in case.

Most importantly, have fun! These gorgeous long days of summer should bring everyone closer and give the whole family a chance to do what they love and maybe try something new. Do your prep early and form a tight game plan that involves the kids, because part of the adventure is pitching in. Enjoy your summer, parents!

About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

Leave a Reply