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When my kids were smaller, I made a little checklist based on the systems that were on the boat and dangerous, then thought about how a kid might get into trouble (water, electricity, fuel, falls, carbon monoxide, steps, falls -- either in the cockpit or the cabin if they are up napping, etc.). Then I went around and tried to make stuff as safe as possible. And I made sure that when we were out on the water if I was doing something that presented a danger, they had a special place they had to sit while the work was going on (like if I had to open the engine hatch or if I was anchoring).

+1 on the life jackets and begin the process of teaching them to swim. Also, I'd buy those little plastic caps that fit into the 110v outlets and cover them up unless they in use.

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Some of you will cringe.

I carry on the cruiser, 2 dog chest harnesses with shortened leashes. Found out they are needed when parents party. & the kids can climb up the armrests & disappeared over the side. Cruel ?

Killing children on a wide open boat is cruel.

I thought you were watching them ?

Once is enough. Harness or do not come or bring them. I am responsible for everyone onboard. Even the child.

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I don't want to interrupt the Black Hawks posts, I'm on board with that too. Go Hawks!

Back to the thread......Life jackets on as soon as you get out of the car and they stay on until you leave.

We didn't think about that. A friend mentioned that he thought it was the law. We put it on and sure enough, we turned our head for a second and our 2 year old walked right off the dock. Could of been a bad situation.

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This is very inappropriate.. You've got someone who comes on here and posts a question regarding keeping their small children safe on the boat and a middle school PE class breaks out and starts posting pics.. come on guys...

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my bad - cabin fever mixed in w/ hockey playoffs and the name of the thread is "toddler proofing" which I also thought was a way to keep Toddler away, so back to the original intent of the post

- boating w/ kids is great, keep in mind that you may need to cut a day short and be cool with it. other tips, keep your normal nap schedule and keep the little ones out of the sun as much as possible (keep the bimini up)

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aww c'mon, there's nothing wrong with a little fun with the Hawks photos!! Lighten up guys!!

With my little ones, lift jacket #1 priority. But I would set up a play area on the floor in the cockpit for them when they were babies. I actually bought a dog bed that fit perfectly in my starboard console storage area and that was a little "cabin" for them to play in or nap. They also love to set up tents with a blanket/towels from the head out to the port seat now that they are 5 & 9. They stay entertained for hrs. They have been instructed since day 1 that any time the engine hatch goes up, they sit up in the bow area. Before I lower the hatch, I'm always sure the kids are nowhere near. They have always been instructed to sit in a seat when we are under way or when Dad is anchoring. Other than that, the kids have always been great. Both daughters used to fall asleep on the cockpit floor with a blacket when they were really small.

Go Flyers!! Oh wait, they lost!!!:(

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Life jackets are the #1 thing with kids. I started them from day one and they always grab their life jackets when we are at the ramp prepping the boat and put them on before backing down. The only time they have their jackets off is when we are anchored in a cove and they are in the cabin. As soon as they step out of the cabin, they put their jackets back on. It's a habit for them just like putting on their seat belts.

The number #2 thing is that I let passengers know where all the other life jackets are and where the two throw cushions are in case of emergency. And nobody gets in the water without a life jacket. Even if it's to jump in and cool off. I still make them put a life jacket on, because the kids will come back to me and say "So and so didn't need a life jacket, why do I???" Not having that arguement with kids and not letting the grown ups teach them bad habits. I won't invite them the next time if they don't want to listen to my rules.

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If my wife asked you for some ideas on how to child proof the house and in the middle of paging through a notebook on "childproofing" you flipped the page and showed her a bunch of T&A pics I would hunt you down.. somehow people think being inappropriate online is OK vs. real life.. it's not. They is no difference. Ironically I had a similar conversation recently with my 14 YEAR OLD..

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Life jackets are the #1 thing with kids. I started them from day one and they always grab their life jackets when we are at the ramp prepping the boat and put them on before backing down. The only time they have their jackets off is when we are anchored in a cove and they are in the cabin. As soon as they step out of the cabin, they put their jackets back on. It's a habit for them just like putting on their seat belts.

The number #2 thing is that I let passengers know where all the other life jackets are and where the two throw cushions are in case of emergency. And nobody gets in the water without a life jacket. Even if it's to jump in and cool off. I still make them put a life jacket on, because the kids will come back to me and say "So and so didn't need a life jacket, why do I???" Not having that arguement with kids and not letting the grown ups teach them bad habits. I won't invite them the next time if they don't want to listen to my rules.

I 2nd your rule about life jackets on EVERYONE when they jump in. I've seen WAY too many people drown after just a simple jump in to cool off. And I tell my girls, the lake is murky and once you go under, I can't see you. And I tell adults, simple things can turn bad with just a quick slip, or hit you head on something. So life jax for everyone! Including me and I'm a former competitive swimmer!!

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Our two have been on the boat since newborn. +100 on lifejackets. Nothing is more important. In fact, everyone on my boat wears a lifejacket. It's just easier that way.

brick

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Exactly on the rule for "Everyong Jumping" in. The visibility on our water is 3-4 feet but who knows what's down there after that. Hitting your head on a underwater object and then not coming up. We'd never find them in time to save their life. I'm a very strong believer on the life jackets. I don't want my day or weekend of fun on the water to become a "Search and Recovery" mission.

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last summer I had to dive down (we were in about 10-12' of water) to free my anchor from a rock. I took my life jacket off to do this. As I was pulling the anchor out, the boat drifted over top of me. As I came up, I hit my head on the boat. It totally freaked me out because my wife and kids were not paying attention to me, nor was anyone else on the boat. Had I knocked myself out, I would've drown because nobody was even paying attention. So in the rare case that I may have to go in without a jacket on, my wife is now instructed to keep eyes on me and I will even go as far as tying a line to my ankle.

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Oh, excuse the hockey posts. BTW, did the complaining persons post mention anything helpful about the topic?

One thing I will add to boating with kids is to pack some Capri Sun pouches to drink. Whatever flavor you get the fluid is clear. They are also just big enough for the kids to finish without having alot of half empty cans sitting in the holders.

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One thing I will add to boating with kids is to pack some Capri Sun pouches to drink. Whatever flavor you get the fluid is clear. They are also just big enough for the kids to finish without having alot of half empty cans sitting in the holders.

This is a good one also.......no stains.

more ....... :beer-7687-1:

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Wow.

I don't have kids. We used to be boat partners on a sailboat w a couple w kids and the kids actually went ocean racing w us once at least. Scary (they were maybe age 4 and 6). If the kids were out of the cabin they not only had on life jackets but were harnessed and tethered as well, which I don't think is extreme but depends on the situation if it's warranted on a power boat.

Definitely they need to know what they can and cannot touch. A friend was trying to dock a 40 something footer from the fly bridge and could not get it into his slip and was starting to panic. Boat would not turn where he wanted it. Ran down below to try the lower station and found his daughter was playing with the wheel. I'm sure he thought she was safer inside down below....

My rule on my boat, if anyone brings their kids (usually my nieces who's dad has a boat too) they need their life jackets on if they're out of the cabin. Last time one of the girls wouldn't wear her life jacket so she had to sit in the cabin. I went to check on her and she wasn't there!! Then she walked out of the head which she did not know how to flush. Prob a good thing because there was half a roll of TP in it. :P. I prefer if parents would watch their kids but that doesn't always (ever?) happen.

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Just make sure they have life jackets and an adult that is not driving to supervise them. When on the hook or stopping for a swim, make sure you take the keys out of the ignition and put them up so they can't start the motor!! This goes for kids of any ages. Lastly, i have a very tight turn into my slip and don't want kids in my "grill" when pulling in.

This will be a tough year for you...maybe. I found the first year, mine weren't mobile either. Then the second year, they are mobile, but still can't take too much lake time. My daughter is 2 1/2 this year (3 years old in Nov.) and we've already found its much better this year.

Eric

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