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Old 10-02-2012, 23:04   #16
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Re: Child Overboard Procedure

At anchor, my kids have to wear a PFD on deck until they can swim around the boat 2 full times. (They can have company on the swimming test, but not hold on.) My youngest will probably pass that test this coming sumer.

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Old 10-02-2012, 23:58   #17
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Re: Child Overboard Procedure

I've seen photos of kids wearing harnesses that do not have the strap that goes under their legs. It's just two horizontal straps that seem to be relatively tight around their chest, and then two straps that go up over their shoulders. It seems like this would be a lot more comfortable in warm places -- have you guys tried this style, does it hold as well, or do you worry it could slip over the childs head?

Last time my kids wore this kind, with the extra strap. We kept the tether so short that they couldn't get to the edge if they tried.
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:12   #18
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Good points Rakuflames.
We will take her PFD to the pool and play some games in it. I think we will take ours as well so I can also demonstrate by example.
I will make the modification to our ladder so it is easily deployable from the water.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:20   #19
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Re: Child Overboard Procedure

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
My wife and I hardly ever wear life jackets when we're sailing alone. But when there are kids aboard EVERYONE wears a life jacket. The kids don't seem to resent the life jackets so much if the adults are wearing them too.

When my children were little both of them tried unbuckling their seat belts while we were underway.

We pulled over and stopped the car and informed them that the car would not move until all were buckled in. After the first time, we had three books i the car -- for both adults and for the child who hadn't unbuckled. No lectures, no stern orders.

It drove them NUTS. Neither of them did it more than twice!

That's what I recommend if the child tries to take that jacket off ... heave to or point up into the wind, stay calm, no yelling or orders -- but the boat doesn't move until everyone has their jackets on properly.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:23   #20
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Re: Child Overboard Procedure

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
I've seen photos of kids wearing harnesses that do not have the strap that goes under their legs. It's just two horizontal straps that seem to be relatively tight around their chest, and then two straps that go up over their shoulders. It seems like this would be a lot more comfortable in warm places -- have you guys tried this style, does it hold as well, or do you worry it could slip over the childs head?

Last time my kids wore this kind, with the extra strap. We kept the tether so short that they couldn't get to the edge if they tried.
Just remember that a chid can easily slip out of a harness without a leg strap, and ALL children in Florida under the age of six MUST have a PFD on. Harness is not enough. Here, the CG will pull you over in a heartbeat for not putting PFD on a child.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:36   #21
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Re: Child Overboard Procedure

Hate to say this, but a child's lifejacket is not all that effective unless you can get the child back onboard very quickly. Playing around with young ones in various lifejackets we found that the high-buoyancy ones with the float behind the head that appear to be so great flip the child face down just about as often as face up--actually face down might be the more common way they end up. I experimented with various lifejackets and the best we could come up with was actually the really cheap Type 2 vests that look like ski vests, reinforced by us with extra webbing and a built-in safety harness. If your child is used to the water the less restrictive Type 2 vest allows them to control their own body position, even dog paddle a bit much more effectively. The high-buoyancy supposedly safer vest takes over and creates a floating blob out of the child. I think there needs to be a lot more research done on child life vests, and adult one for that matter. Just for kicks try a high-buoyancy offshore-type 1 vest yourself and see how it makes it very hard to maneuver in the water--I think they are a real hazard. Their only purpose is to make you into a floating object so you can be retrieved, but if you have to do something in the water, like swimming, they make things much more difficult.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:25   #22
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Re: Child Overboard Procedure

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Hate to say this, but a child's lifejacket is not all that effective unless you can get the child back onboard very quickly. Playing around with young ones in various lifejackets we found that the high-buoyancy ones with the float behind the head that appear to be so great flip the child face down just about as often as face up--actually face down might be the more common way they end up.
We also experimented in the pool with our (then) 4 year old, and were happy with child Sospenders. They automatically inflate two big tubes right on her chest and around her head, so she would stay face up. She couldn't move much, she looked like a big inflated bug, but she couldn't swim anyways. There was a strap behind the head to lift her out of the water...

With the big puffy offshore lifejackets she could pivot forward and become stable facedown in the water.

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Old 11-02-2012, 10:30   #23
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Re: Child Overboard Procedure

Unfortunately, I think those SOSpenders hybrid jackets are no longer available and are no longer legal in the USA. I don't believe there are any inflatables that still meet USCG approval, but of course outside of the USA you don't have to worry about that.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:47   #24
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Re: Child Overboard Procedure

Boy, some great advice from those who have experience and the foresight to prepare their child for going over the side. This forum never ceases to amaze me with the sound, practical and clearly helpful suggestions. The games, pool exercises and observations on tethers, different PDF's, spotting vs going over after the child are wonderful examples of the thoughtfullness and concern all the posters have for their own and others kids... Kudos to everyone and particularly the OP... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:54   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell
Unfortunately, I think those SOSpenders hybrid jackets are no longer available and are no longer legal in the USA. I don't believe there are any inflatables that still meet USCG approval, but of course outside of the USA you don't have to worry about that.
Inflatables are expressly for adults over the age of 16, according to USCG regulations.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:03   #26
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Re: Child Overboard Procedure

If you've only got one PFD...throw it to the child with the most potential!
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Old 11-02-2012, 19:30   #27
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Re: Child Overboard Procedure

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If you've only got one PFD...throw it to the child with the most potential!
so wrong, but i'll admit i lol'd.
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Old 11-02-2012, 20:05   #28
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This is far more complex than you may think.
1 most important is a harness they cannot get out of.
2. Tethered with a short scope so they remain in the cockpit or cabin.

These two rules eliminate overboard emergency. This frees crew ( parents , grandparents) to deal with seamanship required.

If someone goes over due to not doing 1 & 2, then:
3 man overboard pole, for location
4 Ladder for boarding
5. Strobe
6. Whistle
7. Life buoy

Lots of luck, unconsciousness a strong possibility as well as choking. Being a swimmer is really not relevant with a toddler.
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Old 11-02-2012, 20:27   #29
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Re: Child Overboard Procedure

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Originally Posted by Blissopia View Post
My wife and I have discussed what we would do in the event of a child going overboard. The natural response would be to jump right in after them. But that would leave the person at the helm alone to spot the 2 MOBs. Throwing all the cockpit cushions over may help to create a visible debris field to head back to.
Our current thinking is for one of us to be at the helm while the other is the spotter. As the boat gets back within range the spotter will dive in and assist the child back to the boat. The helms person will lower the boarding ladder and use lines/boat hook etc to get them back on board.
Don't have a plan: practice it. Otherwise it's probably no plan at all. With people in the water, not cushions. That last sentence, in 3-foot waves with 2 people in the water, sound like a bunch. For sure, the swimmer better take the Lifesling with him.
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Old 13-02-2012, 06:58   #30
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Re: Child Overboard Procedure

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Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
Hook em up and keep em that way till they are GOOD swimmers!! and still keep em hooked up !!
Glad that you added "and still keep em hooked up." Being a good swimmer does not obviate the need to STAY ON THE BOAT. A lot of "good swimmers" think that they don't need a life jacket, or don't need a harness, just because they know how to swim.

Personally, I'm an extremely good swimmer. Swam competitively from the time I was 8 until a couple of years after college. Didn't qualify, but was invited to the Olympic trials one year.

Regardless of that, when we are sailing I wear an inflatable life jacket, with harness, most of the time when on deck. If leaving the cockpit I clip in most of the time. Only exception really is when it is almost dead calm and my wife is on deck with me.
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