“Tips on choosing your child’s PFD”
Adventure Kayak Magazine
Choose the PFD that most accurately describes the weight of your child, remembering to include the weight of any paddling gear they may be wearing. A wet diaper can add an additional weight of up to 4 lbs. For big boned children with low body fat you may wish to have a bit more floatation. The CCG advises that infants under twenty pound should not be brought on the water. The disproportional head size and upper body weight of an infant causes too great a risk of inversion in the water which cannot be prevented by PFD design.
If you night paddle look for a sewn loop on the collar of the jacket to hold a light or glowstick. Many jackets have reflective piping and tape sewn on for improved low light visibility.
A whistle can be attached to a separate lash point rather than to the zipper preventing the zipper from lowering under the weight of the whistle. Ensure that your child understands that the whistle is not a toy. It is a signalling tool only to be used in an emergency.
[The following section appeared as callouts to the product image attending the article]
– The floatation collar required on all PFDs for children and youths under 90lbs will help keep a child’s head floating face up in the water
– Little people have little or no waist to help keep the jacket from riding up on their rib cage, children’s PFDs have a crotch strap to help keep the jacket down. Rear fastening crotch straps are not common but they are less likely to be accidentally opened and are more comfortable for the child
– A grab loop on the collar is a must for quick extraction from the water
– It is now possible to find colours and prints that children will enjoy wearing. Rember though, yellow, orange and red remain the most visible colours in the water and the easiest to spot as your child wanders down the beach
– Drawstring closures for waist and other adjustments are less likely to pinch an errant bit of skin from your child’s tender spots than plastic buckles
Salus Marine Wear’s Nimbus Children’s Vest is available in gold or teal in all three children’s sizes with Ensolite rounded edge foam design for comfort.