Life Jackets for Life is an initiative to change the law in Canada to require children to wear a life jacket while on small vessels. Accidents are the leading cause of death of children in Canada.(1) Many of these accidental deaths have occurred on Canada’s waterways while boating. Not wearing a life jack or personal flotation device (PFD) is the number one reason for drownings in boating related fatalities in all age categories above the age of 4.(2)

Simple amendments to regulations could save the lives of hundreds of children.

Organizations have been calling for the law to change for many years recommending amendments to regulations that could save the lives of hundreds of children. In a study conducted by the Red Cross, 298 children have died over two decades.(3) That’s an entire elementary school population. Government-funded investments in awareness campaigns, although helpful, are ineffective on their own to change lifejacket/PFD wearing behaviours.

In boating-related deaths for which personal flotation device (PFD) information was available, 81% were not wearing one at the time of the incident and an additional 5% were not wearing one properly.(4) This is an issue of boating culture which requires regulatory intervention to change behaviour, no different from past initiatives requiring young children to travel in car seats, wear bicycle helmets and seat belts.

Join us in our effort to change the law and keep our children safe on Canada’s waterways.


Because losing one more child is one too many.

(2) The Drowning Prevention Research Centre Canada (2018). Canadian Drowning Report, Prepared for the Lifesaving Society Canada at p.10.
(3) The Canadian Red Cross &The Cooke-Rees Memorial Fund “The Floatation Report, Lifejackets/Personal Floatation Devices and Boating Fatalities in Canada, 20 years of Research, 1991-2010 at p. 100 ;
(4) Drowning Prevention Research Centre, Canada, “Canadian Drowning Report“, 2019 edition prepared for the Lifesaving Society Canada at p.9.