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Choosing the Right Life Jacket

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One half of fatalities from recreational boating happen on the calm water. These fatalities happen while boating and even close to shore. It most cases the life jackets are on board, but they are not worn like they should be. Activities that calls for life jackets are:

  • collection of life jacketsCruising
  • Paddling
  • Angling
  • Waterskiing
  • Racing
  • Swimming
  • Being Next to the Water

All people from adult males to young children and pets should wear the life jackets. Here are ways to ensure you have the right life jacket.

Checking the Size

The information of the size and weight the life jacket is meant for will be on the label. Make sure that the jacket is fastened in the right fashion. Hold your arms over your head. If the tops of the arm openings can be pulled up past your chin, then it is too big. It needs to be able to hold your head out of the water.

Auto Inflatable Life Jackets

This type of life jacket will automatically inflate upon immersion or from manual activating it. If a person that is wearing it is in an accident and rendered unconscious, the life jacket will turn the wearer face upwards. It is not meant for children 16 years of age and younger. It is not for water sports.

Manual Inflatable Life Jackets

These types of life jackets only inflate when triggered manually. It is cool and comfortable since it is not bulky like most other life jackets. It will turn the wearer face up should they be rendered unconscious; however, it has to be inflated before their accident. It will require regular maintenance as well. It is not meant for children 16 or younger. It is not recommended for water sports either.

Belt Pack Inflatable

This life preserver will inflate automatically if it is submerged or it can be manually inflated. It is very easy to wear. It will require regular maintenance. It should be placed over the head after it has been inflated. It is not meant for water sports or children 16 and younger.

Vest Life Jackets

This is the most seen life jacket. They are typically orange. It can turn an unconscious person face up and will require very little maintenance. It is a great life jacket for those who do not know how to swim. It is also versatile as it is great for using as a flotation device. It is normally less bulky than other off shore vests.

Children’s Hybrid Inflatable

These types of life jackets offer automatic inflation, but it can also be inflated manually. It requires regular maintenance. It will turn an unconscious person upward. It is not meant to wear during water sports.

Children’s Life Jacket

These types of life jackets are designed for possible immersion. It may not turn a person face up. It does require little maintenance. Most types of life jackets typically includes safety features for your child.

For more information check out the How to Choose the Right Life Jacket brochure from the United States Coast Guard found here.


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Glenn S. Phillips is the CEO of Lake Homes Realty. He is also an author and speaker. When not thinking about real estate and technology, he periodically plays his ugly tuba (complete with a bullet hole), enjoys exploring cognitive thinking, and prefers dark chocolate.

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