Yachting is truly a family experience. And while a luxury motor yacht is in many ways as safe and comfortable as your own home, there are still some special considerations to take to ensure the safety of any infants or toddlers on board.
Many of these safety tips apply to children of all ages, and following them will not only keep your kids safe, but help them to develop a lifelong respect for the water and love for boating!
It should go without saying that children onboard your yacht, whether they are guests or your own, should wear an appropriate PFD or life vest at all times. But it is very important that they wear one that is meant for a child. An ill-fitting life jacket, like trying to put one made for an adult on a child, can actually do more harm than good! Not only, could the child slip out, but in many areas, it is illegal for a child to wear an adult vest, and you could face a fine. Also, make sure any PFD worn by children is a very bright color, so in the event they should slip overboard, they are much easier to spot.
Teach Them to Swim
PFDs are a must, but they should not be considered a substitute for knowing how to swim. If you are a boating family it behooves you to teach your kids to swim early. This will give them confidence, and you, piece of mind!
Good sun protection is important for anyone while out on the water, but it is even more important for kids. You must use at least 15 SPF, this is the minimum to provide actual sun protection. Look for sunscreens that are marked as waterproof or sweat-proof, these are better to use out on a boat.
When boating with toddlers or small children, it’s a good idea to create a “safe zone,” an area that you can screen off with toddler gates, and provide some soft-pillows, etc., to be sure they will not wander, and can be safe from injury from the motion of the boat.
Of course your yacht should be equipped with a First Aid Kit, but if you know you will be voyaging often with kids on board, be sure it is stocked with things to take care of more the more common childhood problems, such as plenty of Band-Aids, a thermometer, tweezers for removal of splinters, bug bite and sting preparations, and syrup of ipecac. Be sure your kit is accessible, but out of the reach of children. The same goes for any of your other safety gear such as flares or signaling devices.
Special Consideration for Babies on Board
Infants have some special safety concerns to be aware of.
- In the case of newborns, or very young infants, the bobbing motion of the boat can cause injury to the neck and/or head, so you really should never take a baby on the water before they’re able to hold their head up.
- Newborn and very young babies cannot sweat, because their sweat glands have not yet fully developed. That means that it’s very difficult for them to regulate body temperature, and they can overheat very easily.
- Exposure to the sun can be particularly hard on an infant’s skin and eyes, so adequate sunscreen, and a hat that provides some eye protection is a must!
On Demand Yachting Provides Peace of Mind
Our On Demand yachting solution includes providing for all of your yacht’s safety and maintenance needs for you and your guests of all ages! When it comes to making sure you and all of your guests are as safe as possible, having the right crew is only part of the equation. You must make sure you have all of the right safety gear on board, and that it is all where it should be and functioning properly. That means, in the unlikely event that they are ever needed, all PFDs, fire extinguishers, smoke and CO detectors, etc., are all maintained and recharged as necessary.
Maintaining your yacht’s safety gear at operational readiness is just one of the services you can count on from our On Demand Yachting Solution.
Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.