Safety Regulations for Sailing with Children

During the summer, there are all sorts of activities for children to enjoy, especially in regards to aquatic and nautical activities. Today, we'll share important safety regulations for sailing with children. Take note before heading out!
Safety Regulations for Sailing with Children

Last update: 17 September, 2019

Many parents feel unsettled by the idea of their children being on board a boat. They tend to worry about their safety and wonder what they should do if their child gets seasick, etc. However, sailing with children can be a pleasant and even unforgettable experience for the whole family.

In order for both parents and their little ones to feel at ease, it’s important to take certain aspects into account. Parents also need to be properly informed before taking their kids out on a sailboat.

There are certain general safety regulations when it comes to sailing. Furthermore, there are specific recommendations regarding precautions to take before sailing with children. Today, we’ll discuss these safety measures in detail.

Meteorological information

The first thing to do before sailing is to check the current weather forecast. This is important whether or not children will be going along.

To have a pleasant voyage and avoid danger and discomfort, you want optimal weather conditions. If the forecast isn’t favorable, then it’s better to cancel your trip and avoid risks that are beyond your control.

The National Weather Service issues specific meteorological information for shorelines and beaches. This information is widely broadcast by different means of communication, including digital signage at nautical clubs and marinas.

Safety Regulations for Sailing with Children

You can also access this information by means of transmitter radio via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In fact, you can even get weather reports on your trip via Navtex, or go to the National Weather Service’s website.

Important precautions for sailing with children, according to age

The experience of sailing and the safety measures you need to put into place vary according to a child’s age. For example, babies are much safer inside the cabin. Also, the boat’s movement is likely to help your little one get a good, long nap.

Children between the ages of 5 and 10 tend to enjoy the experience of sailing very much. They take in every detail as part of a great adventure.

Older children and adolescents may need more motivation to enjoy the voyage. It’s best to give them responsibilities and involve them in different tasks on the boat. They’ll be sure to have a great time.

It’s important that an adult supervise children at all times while on the boat. Furthermore, kids should always be wearing a life jacket. What’s more, if the water is choppy, then children should also put on a safety harness. Finally, children should learn the basic rules of boat safety as soon as they’re old enough to understand.

Obeying instructions

The first thing children must learn before sailing is that: “Where a captain rules, a sailor has no sway.” In other words, they need to obey every order for their own safety. Disobedient children can put their safety at risk, as well as the safety of others.

Safety Regulations for Sailing with Children

Youth must learn to respect boat safety rules at all times. For example, they must understand that they can’t go to the front of the boat without an adult.

At the same time, there are things on the boat that they cannot touch for any reason… Such as the cabin controls or the radio. Finally, children must learn to always hold on with one hand as they move about the boat. 

If they respect the safety rules, then they’ll be sure to have a great time. Besides sailing in and of itself, there are plenty of activities to enjoy while on the boat. For example, jumping off the boat to swim (when the boat anchored, the motor off, and under adult supervision, of course), snorkeling, and fishing. Also, there are different aquatic and nautical sports that little ones can enjoy.

Recommendations for sailing with children: What if they get seasick?

It’s very common for children to become seasick while on a boat. In fact, many adults suffer seasickness as well. This can quickly cause your sailing trip to go south. Seasickness is less frequent in children under the age of 2. There are some simple recommendations that can help you avoid seasickness while sailing.

The first thing you need to do is give them children’s medication for motion sickness that contains Dramamine. It’s important for them to take it half an hour before boarding the boat. Another good recommendation is making sure kids eat breakfast, stay properly hydrated, and take vitamin C.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.