Wellness: Stay SAFE on the Water

Boat Cushion_smAre you hooked on safety? At the Governor’s Fishing Opener in McGregor on May 13, Riverwood distributed safety tip cards to help both adults and kids stay safe on the water. See the tips below. To access and print the flyers for posting at your home or cabin click on each heading.

Safe Boating Tips for ADULTS

Be WEATHER-Wise. Always check local weather conditions before departure. If you notice darkening clouds, changing winds or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water.

Use COMMON Sense.  Operate your watercraft at a SAFE speed at all times, especially in crowded areas. Stay alert at all times and steer clear of large vessels and watercraft that take longer to stop or turn.

Develop a FLOAT Plan. Let someone else know where you’re going and how long you’re going to be gone. Have communication and signal equipment in your watercraft.

Designate an Alternate SKIPPER. Make sure another person on board knows how to operate the boat in the event the driver becomes ill or injured.

Life jackets for All.  Assign and fit everyone going out on the water with a life jacket. Don’t just carry it. Wear it!

Avoid ALCOHOL. Don’t drink and drive on the water. The probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved.

Keep KIDS Safe on the Water

Buy kid-safe life jackets.  Buy a good life jacket/vest with a collar that turns a child face up in the water. It must have strong waist and crotch straps, a handle on the collar, and be bright yellow or orange for good visibility.

Keep Little Kids WARM. Infants and young kids are at higher risk for hypothermia. If you are taking a baby on a boat, take extra precautions to ensure adequate warmth. Carry on your boat a dry blanket for wrapping up kids who start shivering, feeling too cold.

Teach Safety RULES: No running or jumping on the dock. Keep hands and feet inside the boat at all times.

Learn to Swim: Knowing how to swim can keep adults and kids from drowning. Check to see what swimming classes are offered in your area and enroll your child as soon as you feel he/she is ready.

Supervise Kids in/around Open Water. Teach children how to tread water, float and stay by the shore. Make sure an adult is present whenever a teen is operating a personal watercraft.