It's almost the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day, and we know our readers are ready to enjoy their time on the boat, at the beach or at the pool, so we decided it was a great time to remind everyone of some life jacket safety tips.
There are some simple guidelines for how to use and when to use a life jacket. Be sure you have what you need before the summer gets started!
When to Use a Life Jacket
On a boat, kayak, waterskiing, or other water based sports
Open water swimming (lake, ocean, etc.)
Anyone 12 years and younger - most states (check your state for official age guidelines)
In or near, cold water and ice
How to Use a Life Jacket
Make sure your activity choice meets the life jacket guidelines
Read the Label
Check for US Coast Guard Approved
Be sure the size is correct - check the weight and size limits
Check buckles, straps and zippers for usability
Don't use the life jacket if it has worn straps, torn fabric, loose straps, holes, etc.
Try it on!
For a good fit put it on and secure the straps, buckles and zippers, then hold your arms up straight over your head. Have someone pull on the top and pull upward, it should stay secure
Safety on, in and near the water should be a high priority. Accidents involving open water can happen quickly and it is important to be prepared by having and wearing your life jackets.
In 2021, the US Coast Guard reported 658 deaths and 2,641 injuries from boating accidents. Of these, if the death was known, 81% of those were drowning and 83% of those drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket.