Slow No Wake means operating your boat at the slowest possible
speed necessary to maintain steerage, but in no case
greater than five miles-per-hour.
Boat Safe and Sober*
*taken from the DNR Boating and Water Safety brochure.
Selecting a Life Jacket
A life jacket or life vest is a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation device (PDF) that helps the wearer float if they enter the water.
While everyone should wear a PDF, the following concerns how to choose a proper one for your children.
When buying a child's PDF, check for the following:
1. U.S. Coast Guard approval label.
2. A snug fit. Check weight and chest size on the label and try the PDF on your child right at the store. Pick up your child by the shoulders of the PDF; and tell them to raise their arms and relax. The child's chin and ears won't slip through a properly fitting vest. DO NOT buy a vest that is too large, hoping the child will grow into it.
3. Head support for younger children. A well designed PDF will support the child's head when the child is in the water. The head support also serves to roll the child face up.
4. A strap between the legs for younger children. This helps prevent the PDF from coming off over the child's head.
5. Comfort and appearance. This is especially important for teens, who are less likely to ear a PDF.
1. Every spring check your PDF's for fit as well as wear and tear. Throw it away if your find air leakage, mildew, rot, or rust. Cut up and discarded life jackets so someone else doesn't try to use them.
2. Have a child practice wearing a PDF in the water, this will help prevent panic and rolling over if they should fall in.
3. Wear you own PDF to set an example for your child and to enable you to help your child if an emergency occurs.
4. Never use toys like plastic rings, arm floaties or water wings in place of a PDF.
5. Don't try wrapping a PDF around a car seat for your baby. Much of the time, a car seat expelled from a boat in a crash or capsizing accident will flip upside down, holding your baby's face under water.
6. Some infants are too small for any PDF, even though the label may say 0-30 lbs. In general, babies under 6 months or about 16 pounds are often too small for a PDF to be effective due to the extreme size of their head in relationship to their body mass. If your infant is newborn, please consider waiting until the baby is a little older before taking them boating.
Remember: PDF's only work when they are worn, and they do not take the place of adult supervision. A drowning takes as little as 30-45 seconds for a child non-swimmer and usually when an adult is nearby but doesn't recognize the difference between distress and fooling around.
KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE!