Thursday, February 7, 2008

Kids On-Board Safety Tips

Paddling as a family develops great friendships and healthy kids. Kids love the freedom of paddling. When we first hit the beach my daughter and her friends first priority is getting out on the Standup board. They put on their life jackets and make sure they have enough money for ice-cream cone trips to the lodge across the lake, then they're off playing for hours. They even bring the dog!

Here are a few safety ideas before you give your kids the paddles:
  • Soft-top or padded decks are best for families. The surface is softer and not slippery for wet feet or dog claws.
  • Choose a lake or body of water with a speed restriction so they won't be in danger of being hit by a jet-ski or fast boat.
  • Put life jackets on them.
  • Make sure one of the kids keeps the leash on at all time. When they jump in the board can shoot away from them. The leash keeps the board closer to at least one of the kids.
  • Teach them paddle safety. If they drop the paddle and the board goes away from them, swim to the board first. Don't try swimming with the paddle.
  • If the water temp is at all on the cool side, put wet suits on them. Their little bodies lose heat quickly. A wet suit will keep them in the water for hours.
  • Keep them fed, hydrated and sun-protected.

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