Home and Community Safety & Health Safety Holiday safety Articles mentioned in FSH Instagram posts

Boating safety: Wear a life jacket

Photo: Lisa Romerein/gettyimages

In 2023, 87% of the people who drowned in recreation boating accidents weren’t wearing life jackets, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The National Safe Boating Council’s “Wear It!” campaign urges people of all ages to wear life jackets on boats. The campaign takes aim at common excuses that people make regarding life jackets, such as “They’re too bulky,” “They’re too hot,” and “They’re not necessary for good swimmers or on calm lakes.”

The council offers several tips about life jacket use:

  • Check the manufacturer’s ratings to make sure the jacket corresponds to the wearer’s size and weight.
  • Ensure the life jacket is approved by the USCG. The approval number can be found on an inside label.
  • When trying on a life jacket, make sure it properly zips and buckles. Next, raise your arms over your head and ask someone to grasp the tops of the arm openings and gently pull upward. You want a snug fit in which the jacket doesn’t ride up over your chin or face.
  • Make sure the jacket is in good, serviceable condition with no tears or holes.
  • Remember that adult-sized life jackets don’t work for children.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)