Drownings are on the rise this summer in many areas of Canada. Keeping you and your children safe on the water by wearing a lifejacket or PFD is essential in preventing tragedies.

However, with so many options out there, how do you choose the right lifejacket PFD for your child?

The Canadian Red Cross recommends the following:

Children’s flotation devices

Canadian approval labels detailing the appropriate chest size or weight
A large collar for extra protection and support to the child’s head
A grab strap on the collar
Bright colours; yellow, orange or red are most easily seen
Sturdy, rust-proof buckles and zipper
Waist ties with snug-fitting drawstrings or elastic in front and back
A safety strap that fastens between the legs to prevent the device from slipping over the child’s head
Make sure that the approved flotation device is comfortable, yet snug.
Do not buy a PFD or lifejacket that is too large in the hope that the child will grow into it.
Remember that a PFD can never replace adult supervision. Keep your child within arms length at all times when in, on or around the water.
After you have selected a flotation device for a child, we recommend that you attach reflective tape and a plastic whistle.
Important: In Canada, there are no approved flotation devices for children weighing 20 pounds and under. Transport Canada recommends that you wait until your child reaches 20 lbs. before you go boating with them. For further information, visit Transport Canada.

For more information from the Red Cross, click here

and go to Transport Canada Boating Safety