infants, lifejackets, wee one issues: not looking good... - Page 4 - SailNet Community

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  #31  
Old 07-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmedic View Post
Hey Cruisingdad, just found your post, thanks! Sure am inspired by your experience with kids growing up on board, and dreaming to make that happen with us. Your rules for the kids make a lot of sense and were very helpful...I'm sure you're right, our little one will eventually deal with the PFD issue and get used to it just fine (still haven't gotten her on board yet!). Can't wait to make this whole thing really happen....

Have you gotten your cruising with kids article together yet? I'd love to read it...

Thanks again...

Jak,

Working on it. It will come out in installments, I imagine. Hoefully something soon. I wanted to give the thread somt time to sit so others could comment on things.

Good luck.... and see - they will be happy wearing a jacket, just takes time:



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  #32  
Old 07-23-2007
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Jak,

The message you should take from this whole thread is that infants (<1 year old +/-) generally put up quite a bit of fuss when forced to wear life jackets. Thus your now 6 month old is perfectly normal in this respect -- you are not doing anything wrong and there isn't much you can do to make it go better, except wait. Once kids get into the toddler age range, the PFDs fit a bit better and they can be acclimated to them as long as you are firm and don't give in to the fussing. Some other thoughts:

Another post mentioned that he'd never had anyone fall overboard. Nor have I. But it can happen. In my home town, when I was growing up, an experienced sailing couple lost their two-year old overboard in some gusty conditions very close to their homeport. The child sank like a rock right before their eyes in deep water (and was never recovered). That reality always haunted me. So be prepared for a different kind of sailing than you may have been used to pre-kids. Kids don't float, so you must take precautions and be vigilant at all times.

We have the same rule as many of the others who posted: Until our kids could swim well, PFDs were required at all times while on deck or in the dinghies, whether underway or anchored/docked (including on the dock). Now that they are stronger swimmers and older, we have slightly eased the PFD rule so they can relax in the cockpit when we are securely anchored or moored. It helps if parents set a good example by wearing PFDs as well, especially when underway.

I was glad to see no one recommended harnesses. Until kids are much older, these actually pose a serious strangulation hazard for infants and toddlers.

While the risk of going overboard is very real, the biggest actual problem we faced was protecting our kids from the sun. That is another reason why having a safe place belowdecks where they can nap and play is really the best option while they're infants/toddlers.

We had 3 under 3, and in all honesty we found sailing with infants and toddlers less than relaxing (including the aforementioned difficulty with infants and PFDs). So we waited a bit before doing much sailing with the kids. By waiting until they were all toddlers/pre-schoolers we found the stress level diminished considerably. Your mileage may vary.
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  #33  
Old 07-27-2007
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JRP, thanks for your thoughts. The story of the 2 year old from your hometown makes me nauseous and want to forget the whole idea, and maybe just rent a log cabin in Wyoming for our get-aways, but then the kids could get eaten by bears, I suppose...the possibility of tragedy is always lurking, unless one remains at home, right?. So I want to do this, safely as possible, and your experience with your kids, as with others who have written, is very encouraging. I still don't know what to do with the infant stage...on a calm day, I can picture my wife holding the baby without a PFD when sitting in the cockpit, since the baby can't go anywhere on her own, and with the understanding that she never leaves the cockpit without first putting our daughter below or strapped in the child seat first. Also, if I needed help from my wife quickly, it would be harder to get the baby in the car seat if she were wearing a PFD (would have to come off fist). Of course, in any kind of weather, or as soon as the baby can move about on her own, the jacket would stay on whenever not below. Seems that other folks I've spoken to have done it this way. I've been doing a lot of thinking about this, and not much (any) sailing, so I think we need to just get out there and try it to see what works. At the rate we're going, our kid is going to be walking by then anyway, so perhaps the jacket issue will just solve itself...

Thanks for your thoughts. They are a big help....
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  #34  
Old 03-24-2008
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Just thought I'd bring this thread back to the top.

Have you cruised with your kids? If so, how has it gone?
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  #35  
Old 03-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwftide View Post
Just thought I'd bring this thread back to the top.

Have you cruised with your kids? If so, how has it gone?
On the PFD issue...

PFDs are the house rule and non-negotiable for my 8 and 12yo and any of their friends who sail with us. The *only* exception is when we're sitting on the mooring or on the hook and they are confined to the cockpit, say having dinner, or below for the evening.

Both my kids are strong swimmers -- my 12yo daughter does junior triathlons -- but don't argue and know they are required on the launch as well. My older daughter knows the state requirements and has also been reminded that the captain's law supercedes the state law

Right now, my kids are just as itchy for warmer weather and getting back out as I am. Their favorite place on the boat is on the bow and getting wet. Cruising is all about the destinations for my kids. They're up for a few days on the boat and then need a break -- in local waters (meaning LI Sound), cruising for 3 or 4 nights is a nice adventure for them. Get them to the BVI (on my todo list...) and a week would be no sweat.
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  #36  
Old 03-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwftide View Post
Just thought I'd bring this thread back to the top.

Have you cruised with your kids? If so, how has it gone?
Nice to hear from you again...actually, somehow work and boat repairs conspired to keep our sailing season short last year and I did NOT have a chance to get my daughter on board (hardly got out myself). This year should be quite different though (really! no laughing!)...I've actually just quit my full time job, so that we can travel throughout the US (I'll take temporary 1-2 month work positions as we go)...our major concentration will be along the NE and atlantic coast, principally so that we can take the boat along with us and get a lot of sailing in. Of course now my little one is walking about, so should make the whole experience even more interesting...will recommission the boat soon, so I suppose we'll know how well she takes to the experience by the end of spring (hope she likes it, 'cause we're going anyway!)...
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  #37  
Old 06-27-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwftide View Post
Just thought I'd bring this thread back to the top.

Have you cruised with your kids? If so, how has it gone?
Ok, I know this thread is old, but I thought I'd update...have taken my now 17 month old girl out a couple of times this year and she LOVED it. No lifejacket tantrums at all. Last time out it started blowing 25 knots, rail in the water, and she was giggling with delight, thrilling with the wind in her hair and spray in her face. I think we got lucky with this girl. I've quit my perm job and am now going to be traveling for a while, sailing up to Maine and down to the Chesapeake as I go, family along as well of course. Going to be an interesting few months...
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  #38  
Old 09-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmedic View Post
Ok, I know this thread is old, but I thought I'd update...have taken my now 17 month old girl out a couple of times this year and she LOVED it. No lifejacket tantrums at all. Last time out it started blowing 25 knots, rail in the water, and she was giggling with delight, thrilling with the wind in her hair and spray in her face. I think we got lucky with this girl. I've quit my perm job and am now going to be traveling for a while, sailing up to Maine and down to the Chesapeake as I go, family along as well of course. Going to be an interesting few months...
What sort of boat are you doing this in? I'm very close to buying a Catalina 25 but want to feel assured that it'll be comfortable enough for my wife and kid-to-be on Puget Sound.
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  #39  
Old 10-29-2008
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In MD children are required to wear PFDs when in the cockpit or on deck. Down below it is not required. But, my rule is if they can't swim they wear them when awake, no matter how much they protest. My daughter wasn't too fond of putting the 6 week old baby in a PFD but I explained the law is the law. Plus, what happens when a real accident occurs and the adult is thrown overboard? My 2 year old granddaughter wears hers as well. My nine year old nephew doesn't swim, so he wears a PFD when anywhere near the boat (dock etc). As you can see my grandchildren above wear theirs, no matter the age.

In MD this is the law:
Mandatory Life Jacket Requirements for Children
Effective June 1, 2001, all children under the age of 7 must wear a United States Coast Guard
approved Personal Flotation Device (Life Jacket – Type I, II, III or V) while underway on a
recreational vessel under 21 feet in length on Maryland waters. Recreational vessel includes
motorboats, sailboats, canoes, kayaks, rowboats and any other device capable of being used
for transportation on the water, when the vessel is being used for other than commercial
purposes. The life jacket must be the proper size for the child and must be in good and
serviceable condition. This requirement does not apply when a vessel is moored or anchored,
or when a child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin.

Effective April 1, 2006 an addition to the above law has been made regarding personal
flotation devices (PFDs) for children. Under the new law, if a child is less than 4 years of age
or weighs under 50 pounds, the child must wear a PFD with specific additional safety features
including: a strap that is secured between the child’s legs to fasten together at the front and
back of the PFD; an inflatable headrest or high collar to keep the child’s head above the
water; and a web handle to ensure the ready accessibility of the child from the water.

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  #40  
Old 10-29-2008
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Just curious... what does the law say about vessels greater than 21' LOA??
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