Photo Credit: BoatUS.com
Do you know how to properly fit your child for a life jacket? Unfortunately, life jackets are not one size fits all. When it comes to purchasing one for children it must fit properly. If a life jacket does not fit them properly, it can put them in harm’s way. If it’s too small, it will not be able to keep them afloat; if it’s too big, it can easily slip off. There are however steps and procedures for ensuring the right fit when choosing a life jacket for children.
First off, life jackets come in four sizes which are categorized by weight range. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s label inside the life jacket to determine the size.
- Infant – under 30 pounds
- Child – 30-50 pounds
- Youth – 50-90 pounds
- Adult – 90 pounds and over
Body proportions vary by individual so make sure you follow the next steps to help determine a proper fit.
- Make sure all zippers and buckles can be closed and fastened properly. The life jacket should be snug, but comfortable.
- Have the child hold their arms straight up overhead. Pull the life jacket upwards by the arm openings. If you can slip the fastened jacket over the body, the jacket is too big. Also, make sure there is no excess room above the openings and the life jacket does not ride up over the chin, ears or face.
Please do not be tempted to buy children a life jacket that they can grow into. Children should have the best fitting life jacket for their age. If your child happens to be in between sizes; go with the smaller size to avoid the risk of it slipping off.