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Old 28-01-2018, 07:30   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Cruising the Caribbean
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45
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Lifejackets for kids

Our kids (boys aged 6 and 9) currently wear standard foam lifejackets whenever on deck which has been fine for our usual day/coastal sailing in the UK but in the Med last summer they were starting to grumble about comfort / being too warm.

We're planning a year's sabbatical in the Med (and probably Caribbean) so looking again at options.

I know the advice used to be that inflatable lifejackets should only be worn by older children but I understand that was at least partially due to a lack of approved kids inflatable jackets. So anyone using inflatable lifejackets for kids? Any stats on failures to inflate?

Harnesses also an option, but my concern with those is that there's a bit more supervision required to make sure they are properly clipped in.

Also considering getting them the non lifejacket PFDs for messing around at anchor / in dinghy / paddleboarding.
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Old 28-01-2018, 08:10   #2
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Re: Lifejackets for kids

... all major manufacturers normally have PFDs for kids nowadays.

Here is one from Secumar (for 20-50kg): https://www.secumar.com/en/product/junior-6/

Regards,

Carsten
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Old 28-01-2018, 08:23   #3
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Location: Winter Germany, Summer Med
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Re: Lifejackets for kids

If they are slim kids there is the Kadematic Junior for the 6 year old. Its a very small & light package but won't fit once they reach age 10 or so.
For the 9 year old I'd go for the Secumar Arkona midi, as its a bigger unit and they grow fast at that age.
But our kids are slim & fit, I have seen kids age 10 that can easily wear adult's lifejackets.


Get devices with D-Rings for tethers, and make them wear the tether depending on wind wave.
And very important: bring some spare CO2 cylinders so the kids can try them in a bay to learn what happens when they fall into the water, and know how to behave / swim with the jacket inflated.


I have to admit our kids wear them only when weather is bad and they still want to be outside the cockpit area. But a catamaran is a different platform anyway

And when off the boat (paddle, dinghy, whatever) they don't wear a lifejacket at all. Ours are 10 & 11 now, and they swim way better than most adults. They always swim from the boat to the beach, which can be anything from 50 to 400m. Of course only if there is no boat/dinghy traffic around.

Maybe in someone's view we are too careless, but I think we have a strong and healthy offspring that already knows a thing or two about dangers in the water.
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