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PFDs for Little kids

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  • J. R. Sloan
    Thanks for the advice, Oldmoore, David and Uwe. I will be doing some research on the subject over the weekend, so if I come up with anything unusual, I ll let
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 16, 2004
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      Thanks for the advice, Oldmoore, David and Uwe.

      I will be doing some research on the subject over the weekend, so if
      I come up with anything unusual, I'll let you all know.

      JR
    • kinikinik@shaw.ca
      I took the time to look around for children s PDFs as well. What appears to be the safest type, particularly for non-swimmers, is what the coast guard refers
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 16, 2004
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        I took the time to look around for children's PDFs as well. What
        appears to be the safest type, particularly for non-swimmers, is what
        the coast guard refers to as a life jacket, which has the bulk of the
        floatation in the chest area and behind the neck and designed to keep
        a person face-up even if unconcious. Both the US and Canadian Coast
        Guard appear to be in agreement with this and rightly so.

        So far, all the lifejacket styles I've seen are still quite bulky.
        So until something new (but approved) comes out, the little guys will
        have to remain "bundled up" to stay safe. LOL

        As far as PDFs for pets go, I would have liked to have seen them
        years ago. Back a lot of decades ago, my fishing partner was a
        Corgy, I called Whiskey. The first time I took him out, he was as
        good as gold and laid nice and quiet up in the bow seat. But once I
        caught my first fish, he got all excited, figuring it was his turn to
        get one. With his front feet up on the gunale and peering down into
        the water, wagging tail and shivering all over, he kept pushing
        farther and farther over the gunale until kerplunk--he was gone.

        He really went deep and was a long time coming up, but then I finally
        saw some wild eyes and thrashing front paws coming up through the
        clear water and eventually he made the surface. As he broke through,
        I grabbed him by the collar and pulled him into the boat. He was
        pretty subdued for the rest of the outing and he kept giving me those
        sideways looks all the way back to the beach.

        My first thought just after he went under was that I had lost him and
        there is a good possiblity that I could have. Most dogs are adequate
        swimmers, but cold water takes away their stanima pretty fast.

        I can happen to any of us as well and just as fast. Wear some kind
        of floatation.

        --Don
      • tristanshuman
        There are alot of PFDs out there for both kids and pets - My son started out in our ski boat when he was only a week old - not much danger of him bouncing over
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 16, 2004
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          There are alot of PFDs out there for both kids and pets -
          My son started out in our ski boat when he was only a week old - not
          much danger of him bouncing over the side back then - I wore him in
          a front pack and straped an extra-large lifejacket over both of us.
          But as he got under his own power - we had to make sure his Life
          jacket was buckled on securely before we opened the car door at the
          river - he loved water, had NO fear, and would have gone straight
          off the pier with no qualms whatsover in a busy boating channel!

          I like the toddler vest ones with a BIG collar - they have a crotch
          strap that keeps them from riding up and the child from slipping out
          of the jacket should they land in the water, and the wide collar
          keeps their heads up in the water - additionally, most of them have
          a strap/ handle on the back of the collar that you can hold onto or
          grab if they DO fall overboard. it's also handy for keeping wanna-
          be fish like my son, ON the pier! I could always grab that handle
          and hold him back!

          As he grew, he learned limits, and respect for the water - but he's
          always been part fish. As we are very active in scouting, water
          rules have ALWAYS been that he MUST wear a PFD on the water, even
          though he is a strong swimmer and has more experience in canoes and
          boats than most of his troop mates. ANYONE can get klonked by a
          passing branch, or hit his head when he falls out of a boat, and he
          may not be AWAKE to save himself. The traditional orange - round
          the neck vests used at camp may be cheap and they DO work, but they
          are hard to paddle in. I have always bought ski-type and fishing
          type lifejackets, which are a little thinner - easier to move in,
          have more adjustments for size and comfort. In addition, the fishing
          ones often have mesh pockets for stuff like sunglasses, compass,
          small camera or a whistle.

          For older kids - 8-12 - if you can't find a lifejacket that fits
          comfortably - look in the catalogues and online for WOMENS
          lifejackets - often these are cut a little smaller and more
          comfortable in the arm holes. Try on different brands - many are
          cut differently - esp have the child SIT & pretend to paddle in the
          jacket - to make sure it's not too long and rides up around their
          ears and under their arms.

          the primary concern for a child is to make sure the jacket will turn
          them face up in the water - and some of the ski jackets don';t
          guarantee that with children. ( esp those under 10) Their heads are
          MUCH heavier in comparison to the rest of their bodies than an
          adults - making them top-heavy - thus the need for MORE floatation
          bulk around their necks. you have to balance the need for "heads
          up" flotation with the kind of use and the amount of supervision.
          If they are kids who listen and obey, are fairly responsible, and
          you are always going to be one-on-one with the kids, and if they are
          experienced with the water, canoes, etc - then you can go with the
          ski-vests that allow for more movement. if you can't be one-on-one,
          if they only canoe a few times a year with you and aren't going to
          get much experience - then go with the most 'heads up' protection
          you can find.

          Kids are more adaptable than adults - they aren't going to fuss much
          over 'comfort' of the PFD's if you are adamant that they MUST waer
          them to participate. They are like seat belts in cars - an absolute
          must! No PFD, or an improperly worn PFD - and they get beached.

          Also, if you don't want to spend a fortune - check out garage sales
          in family neighborhoods near lakes and rivers. Kids outgrow these
          things fast - and you can pick them up cheap and in great condition!

          As for pets - the same thing - I have a golden retriever who thinks
          he has gills (he and the kid are soul-mates, water lovers) he's
          also an avid swimmer - but even he can get klonked on the head or
          stuck in the mud. Another advantage of a pet PFD is that it makes a
          handy and safer grab handle for the pet if he's in danger. Even the
          BEST trained dog can panic when frightened - and a PFD strap is easy
          to grab, supports the pet without strangling it - and you're less
          likely to get bitten trying to 'save' your pet!

          Laura
        • J. R. Sloan
          ... wrote lots of good items about PFDs, much of which I will follow right away. This weekend marks the annual neighborhood garage sale, and
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 20, 2004
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            --- In cedarstripcanoes@yahoogroups.com, "tristanshuman"
            <tlaurat7@h...> wrote lots of good items about PFDs, much of which I
            will follow right away. This weekend marks the annual neighborhood
            garage sale, and thrift forces me out to look for good-condition PFDs
            of the outgrown and suitable varieties. Many thanks, Laura.
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