Is it Safe to Bring a Baby on Your Boat?

Spending the day out on the water with your family sounds like the perfect way to spend a warm summer day. The biggest question to ask yourself is whether bringing your infant on the boat is safe. The good news is that you can boat with your baby, as long as you take the right precautions.

From 2005-2014, an average of 3,536 people were involved in an unintentional drowning incident in the United States—equating to around 10 deaths a day, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One in five that die from drowning are ages 14 and younger. It’s important to be aware of the statistics as a parent; it helps you better prepare for any possible situations. Here’s some tips on how to safely boat with a baby, courtesy of Safe Kids Worldwide.

Wear a Life Jacket

A life jacket needs to always be worn when out on the water. According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety, babies should not travel on a boat until they are the appropriate weight to fit in an infant-size life jacket. The life jacket needs to USCG-approved and always worn around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. The life jacket needs to fit snugly. If it’s too big, the child can slip out of it unknowingly.

If you’re trying to find the right fitting size for your child or infant, check out this USCG page on life jacket sizes. On average, a baby needs to be at least seven pounds to properly fit in an infant life jacket. Another thing you can do to keep your child safe is to hold onto them (while wearing your own life jacket) after you’ve placed a life jacket on them. Whatever you do, don’t place your baby in a car seat on a boat.

Supervise Kids at all Times

Make sure an adult is always present to keep an eye out on children while boating. Every child is different, but once they are ready, you can enroll them in swimming lessons. It’s important to teach children how to properly tread water, float and stay by the shore. Teach children the difference between open water and pools. Childproof your boat before going out on open water. An adult should make a designated area for infants and toddlers to stay in that is secure and protected.

Regulate Body Temperatures

Infants and young kids are at a higher risk of hypothermia, so make sure you take a few extra precautions to keep your baby warm. If a baby or child seems cold and shivering, wrap them tightly in a dry blanket or towel. Make sure your baby doesn’t feel overheated by creating some shade for your infant to relax in.

Whether you’re boating in Newport Beach or Catalina, once you’ve taken all the steps to be sure that your boating trip with your infant is successful, you should make sure that you have an up-to-date boat insurance policy with coverage for your entire family.

About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.