Wear your LifeJacket
Wearing a lifejacket is the best way to stay safe.
Why do people in boats fall into the water?
• The boat fills and capsizes because of waves.
• The boat hits an object and sinks or overturns.
• The boat flips over because someone drives in a reckless way.
• The boat tips over because people move around or stand up inside the boat.
• The boat is overloaded (with items or people).
• The weight is not distributed evenly inside the boat.
Not every lifejacket is made the same
There are different types for different activities and different sizes for different people. It is very important that a lifejacket fits correctly. A lifejacket can save your life or that of someone you love but only if it is worn. There are many new styles that can fit well and be comfortable.
Check the label!
There is a chest size and weight guideline written on the label that will help you choose the right lifejacket.
Try it on!
Is it too small?
You should be able to do up all zippers or buckles. Take a deep breath, it should feel snug and comfortable. Pull on the straps of the lifejacket for a close fit.
Is it too big?
Raise your arms. Does the lifejacket stay down so that you can still see, hear and move? As a test can someone else pull the lifejacket up over your ears? If so, make sure all the straps are pulled tight or try another size or type.
Even strong swimmers need to wear lifejackets
In Canadian communities located near water, many people learn to swim at an early age and become good swimmers. Many others do not have the opportunity. However even an Olympic gold medal swimmer will need a lifejacket to help them survive if they fall into a cold lake, river or ocean during most times of the year.
Cold water can make a person gasp and take water into their lungs. If the person manages to survive this initial difficulty then muscle spasms and intense fatigue can happen very quickly. This is called swim failure. The best way to prevent death by drowning is to wear a lifejacket. This applies to strong swimmers, poor swimmers, and non-swimmers. It is true near shore, far from shore, during the daytime and at night. The tragic drowning reports tell
the true story that a lifejacket doesn’t work if you are not wearing it and that most drownings are preventable.
Every child or youth can wear a lifejacket when playing in water with varying water depths to keep them at the surface and having fun.
Every child or youth that travels in a boat, rafts down a river, paddles a canoe or kayak or just plays around open water needs to wear a lifejacket.
Adults need to wear lifejackets to set a good example and to protect themselves, but most importantly to be able to assist their children out of danger.