Infants & Boating
While many parents would love to take their newborns boating with them, it is generally not a good idea. Here are some facts to think about before taking a young child out boating.
Everyone on the vessel needs to have a life jacket that is properly fitted for them. That means, for example, that a child can't wear an adult life jacket and be safe (or legal).
Very few lifejackets come in infant sizes, and it is quite dangerous for a child to wear a lifejacket that doesn't fit. A poorly fitted lifejacket that is too loose can slip off a child. If the lifejacket doesn't fit, you could face a ticket, and the child would be at risk if anything happened.
There are other dangers to consider when taking an infant on the water.
- The bobbing motion of the boat can injure a newborn's neck and head.
- Because of the constant motion of a boat, you should never take a baby on the water before they're able to hold their head up.
- Newborn babies cannot sweat, since their sweat glands have not yet developed. This means that it's very difficult for an infant to regulate body temperature. If it's hot out, the heat can easily put stress on the child.
- The exposure to sun can be hard on an infant's skin and eyes.