Life Jacket Safety: Staying Safe Around the Water
Safety experts recommend that everyone wear a life jacket around the water. Like wearing a seatbelt in a car, life jackets can save your life if you encounter a hazard or fall into the water.
How Do Life Jackets Save Lives?
Wearing a life jacket can save your life by:
- Providing flotation if you unexpectedly find yourself in the water.
- Providing flotation if you purposely jump into the water to save someone else.
- Providing flotation when you are no longer able to keep yourself above the water’s surface due to fatigue, injury, or cold.
- Providing flotation if you are a weak or non-swimmer.
How to Choose a Life Jacket
While life jackets can help keep you safe, it’s necessary that your life jacket fits correctly and is suitable for your body type. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a life jacket!
Lifejackets must be:
- The appropriate size for the intended user.
- Appropriate for the activity.
- In good and serviceable condition.
- Coast Guard or Transport Canada approved.
Size and Fit:
- Check the label for user weight and chest size.
- Try your lifejacket on in the water to ensure your airway is clear.
- A good fit is secure, comfortable, and adjustable.
When to Wear a Life Jacket
Ensure that you know when it’s appropriate to wear life jackets and be sure to follow these safety precautions!
- Always wear a lifejacket in the pool if you’re still learning to swim.
- Always wear a lifejacket when swimming in unknown waters, even if you have experience – this goes for adults too!
- Always wear a life jacket while boating and participating in water activities at the lake, ocean, or river.
- Noodles, swim rings, inflatable rafts, kickboards, etc. are toys. These toys may provide some buoyance, but they do not prevent drowning as children can slip off/out of them and be under the water quickly.