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  • Oregon State Marine Board

New Safety Video Emphasizes the Right Life Jacket Fit for Kids

The importance of wearing a properly fitting life jacket when in, on and around the water is paramount, especially when it comes to our most precious cargo –our children. During this past summer, boating and life jacket experts from around the nation came together with “one voice” about the importance of properly fitting life jackets on children, by creating a simple but comprehensive video on fitting life jackets to children. Losing a child to drowning is simply unfathomable, but the pain is real for many.

“Like everyone, children can be unpredictable around water - particularly if they are suddenly immersed, says Bernice McArdle, Executive Director of the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA). “That’s why it is imperative to purchase the right product for children and ensure that they have it on and understand how it will work in the water before heading out.”

Knowing how a life jacket should fit is not as easy as one might think. How tight should the jacket be? Does it matter how long the jacket is? Where should the crotch strap be placed, and why does it matter? Do you know if it’s fitting right in the water? This short video demonstrates the proper fit and the reasoning behind it, as well as how to make adjustments so the child is completely comfortable in the water, in a fun, engaging way.

“This video is also an excellent primer for all who put life jackets on children,” says MariAnn McKenzie, Marine Board’s Boating Education Coordinator and Project Lead for the video . “It’s important that everyone that participates in boating and water activities knows how to fit a life jacket properly on children. This video will educate on what to look for and how to make sure the life jacket fits just right so no one has to worry once they’re out on the water having fun.”

It’s the hope from boating and water safety experts that this educational video is shared by anyone who is involved in teaching children including; life guards, camp leaders, swimming program instructors, marine patrol officers, boating safety educators, boat rental facilities, and other educators.

Life jackets are the best investment for you and for children’s safety. According to the video, “Remember life jackets got your back, but only if you wear it.”

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