Summer is near. As the weather beings to warm up, don’t forget to think safety as you’re packing the boat. The City of DuPont Fire Department is selling custom fit life jackets for children when they are pre-ordered by May 31st.
As of 1999, children 12 and younger must wear a jacket on boats shorter than 19 feet whenever the vessel is underway and the child is on an open deck or in an open cockpit on any waters in the State of Washington. In addition, a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device must be on the boat for each person on board. Boats 16 feet or longer must also have at least one throwable flotation device.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death among children in Washington State. Most of the deaths reported were due to the child either not wearing a life jacket or wearing one that was improperly fitted. DOH explains that although drowning deaths have decreased in Washington within the last twenty years, the statistics are still higher than the national rate.
Children will be more comfortable in emergency situations if they have had a chance to practice wearing their life jackets. Teach them to float on their backs while wearing a life jacket. Remember that life jackets do not take the place of adult supervision and children should not be left alone when on or near water.
Life jackets that are ordered by May 31st will be sold and custom fitted to the child for just $12. Fitings will be held on Friday, June 15th from 11am until 7pm at DuPont Fire Department Station 49-2, located at 3196 Shaw Street. Payment is due at the time of the fitting.
To order your child’s custom fit life jacket, please visit the City of DuPont’s website at www.ci.dupont.wa.us.