Thoughts on child's safety harness please - SailNet Community

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Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.


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Old 03-13-2010
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Question Thoughts on child's safety harness please

I have been contemplating the purchase of a children's safety harness's for my kids (3&5). Why shouldn't I have them for the kids? I don't ever recall hearing of discussion good or bad about kids wearing them, so before I make the purchase I wanted to get some real life experience feedback from you...


Here one from Defender


http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|135|88189&id=142669
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Old 03-13-2010
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Our daughter began sailing with us when she was 6 weeks old in a car-seat lashed down in the cockpit. At the point at which she was able to walk, we put her in a lifevest with a harness that allowed her to reach, but not exceed the edges of the combings in the cockpit. Since she started out with this arrangement from the get go, she never had a problem with it, just as putting on a seat-belt in the car became second nature. Today, she and my wife both wear inflatable PFD's aboard ship as they manage the yacht, and harnesses whenever we're off-shore, (as do I) without giving the matter a second thought.

Our first rule aboard the boat has always been "Safety First". Our second rule is "Always hold on to the boat". Our third rule is "Never argue with Daddy". S'worked for 20+ years for me--it'll work for you. (Rule 1 and 2 anyway.)

FWIW...
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Old 03-13-2010
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I always have one attached to my cat. I never want to have the experience of suddenly wondering, WHERE IS HE!?!?!

So, yeah, I can see why it could make a lot of sense to use a tether on small kids. Not necessarily all the time. And not in place of a life jacket. If junior goes over, it's probably best if he floats, tether or not.

The only downside I can see is getting the line tangled up on everything. Could be both a hassle and a danger. And I suppose if kids can strangle themselves on the cords attached to window blinds, no doubt they could do the same with a line tied to a harness.

Hey I'm a lot of help, huh? Bottom line answer is: I'd do it some of the time, depending on conditions and distance from land. In the end, there's always risk.
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Old 03-13-2010
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IMHO, you'd be better off getting the ones that attach to the tether on the back. The reason for this is simple. If they fall overboard and are being dragged face forward, they will likely drown before you can stop the boat. If the harness and tether attach on the back, they will be dragged backwards through the water and there is far less chance of them drowning.

Be aware that a tether and harness does not replace a PFD...
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Old 03-13-2010
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Stop the boat? You don't think Chef could haul a 3 or a 5 year old out of the water if one fell overboard? Especially in the adrenaline-driven heat of the moment? I'll bet he can.

The harness shown would fit under a PFD well I think.
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You're assuming that Chef would be available to do so. That may not be the case.

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Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
Stop the boat? You don't think Chef could haul a 3 or a 5 year old out of the water if one fell overboard? Especially in the adrenaline-driven heat of the moment? I'll bet he can.

The harness shown would fit under a PFD well I think.
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Old 03-13-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Our daughter began sailing with us when she was 6 weeks old in a car-seat lashed down in the cockpit. At the point at which she was able to walk, we put her in a lifevest with a harness that allowed her to reach, but not exceed the edges of the combings in the cockpit. Since she started out with this arrangement from the get go, she never had a problem with it, just as putting on a seat-belt in the car became second nature. Today, she and my wife both wear inflatable PFD's aboard ship as they manage the yacht, and harnesses whenever we're off-shore, (as do I) without giving the matter a second thought.

Our first rule aboard the boat has always been "Safety First". Our second rule is "Always hold on to the boat". Our third rule is "Never argue with Daddy". S'worked for 20+ years for me--it'll work for you. (Rule 1 and 2 anyway.)

FWIW...
That's just how we've done it with all of ours.
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What kind of lifevest? A child's Type II or do they make an auto-inflate that small?
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Old 03-14-2010
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there is other options

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Old 03-14-2010
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A short tether so they cannot fall over the side, but a vest that keeps the head out of the water.imho

Our experience - if the kid has to wear it, you have to wear it.
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