Safety tips provided by the U.S. Coast Guard and Cal Boating include:
DO make sure that each child wears a snug-fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times on or near the water.
DON’T allow your children to sit on the deck, seat backs or gunwales while the boat is under way. If children are swimming near the boat, take the key out of the ignition.
DO take advantage of every opportunity to teach children to respect the waterways by obeying the rules of navigation and protecting the waterway environment.
DON’T allow children to trail their hands, arms, or legs in the water when docking or maneuvering around solid objects, such as a pier.
DO teach your children to help with chores on the boat by enrolling them in a basic Safe Boating course offered through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons unit, American Red Cross, or California Department of Boating and Waterways.
DON’T allow children to stand in high-speed boats. A quick drop of the throttle can result in serious head injuries and rapid acceleration can throw passengers over the transom and into the dangerous area behind the boat.
Most important, DO set a good example by taking a boating safety course yourself, always wearing your life jacket, never boating under the influence, and making sure your boat is properly equipped by signing up for an annual Vessel Safety Check offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or United States Power Squadrons.