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Tips for boating with babies and toddlers

Boating is one of the most freeing forms of travel. Personal vessels have fewer rules and regulations to follow than road vehicles do, and can also enjoy nearly unlimited routes along the water. Bringing children and babies onboard can bring complications but as long as everyone is careful there’s no reason why you can’t travel safely. Here a few short tips to help you do just that.

Safety tips and advice for taking children on a boat

One of the best ways to prepare your children is to teach them how to swim. Knowing how to swim will give them some confidence near the water, as well as the skills they need in case they go overboard. From there, your children will need the correct sized lifejacket. Even if the jacket fits your child, it’s important to read the safety instructions and select a lifejacket with the right buoyancy rates.

The best way, however, is to simply teach your children the safety measures to take. Prevention is the best form of safety. Making sure your child is sitting down whenever the boat is moving is a good rule. So too is banning running anywhere on your boat, in case the floor is wet and slippery. Buying kids children's travel insurance is a great way to protect your children before you start your boating trip.

Do babies have to wear lifejackets on a boat?

Everyone on board a personal vessel must wear a lifejacket. The only exception to this rule is when you are under the deck or in a secured cabin. Babies are not exempt from this and require a baby-sized lifejacket.

Ways to baby-proof a boat

How you baby-proof a boat will depend on the type of boat and where you are going, but here are a few short tips.

  • Unpack everything and put it securely away
  • Cover all sharp corners they can reach
  • Watch them at all times
  • Pack a cot, to allow for naps
  • Create a sheltered or shaded area away from the heat of the sun
  • Make sure there are others on board who can help look after the baby

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If you'd like some more tips and advice on travelling with the kids or inspiration for the next family holiday, check out our other pages below:


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