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How to fit your child's life jacket

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Man and two young boys in kayak

All water-related recreational vehicles need to have life jackets aboard. When a boat is moving, Florida law requires children younger than 6 years old to wear a life jacket.

Life jackets designed for adults don't work for children. If a jacket is too big, it will ride up around the face. If too small, it won't keep the person afloat.

FOLLOW THESE STEPS FOR THE RIGHT FIT:

  1. Check the manufacturer’s label to ensure the jacket is designed for your child’s height and weight.
  2. Fasten the jacket. This may seem obvious, but just slinging it over a shoulder and not fastening it won't help in an emergency.
  3. Ask your child hold his/her arms straight up. Grasp the top of the arm openings and pull up. Ensure there is no excess space in the openings.
  4. Try the jacket out in shallow waters. 
For more water safety/boating safety information, contact:
Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County
Safe Kids Palm Beach County

SOURCE:

U.S. Coast Guard

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