Fishing is a great family sport that offers a wonderful way to bond with your kids and the perfect opportunity to make a lot of memories. At the same time, fishing with young children has certain safety risks of which you need to be aware before embarking on a fishing adventure. You want to make sure your time with the kids is both enjoyable and safe. Below are listed some safety tips that will help ensure that.
- Always keep an eye on little ones – Since you are around the water, it is imperative that you keep a close watch on the little ones. It only takes a second for a kid to make a wrong move and end up in the water.
- Wear a life jacket – All kids should wear a Coast Guard approved flotation device. Make sure it fits properly and is fastened correctly. A poorly fitting life jacket can do more harm than good if the child ends up in the water. When life jackets aren’t fastened properly, they can come off easily, making it useless if the child falls in the water.
- Wear proper shoes – Kids should always wear shoes when fishing. This is so their feet will be protected from any debris or stray hooks that may wind up on the ground. If you are fishing off a pier, a dock, or in a boat, it’s very important to have shoes that have traction and won’t slip on wet surfaces.
- Don’t run – Make sure kids understand that there is no running around the fishing area. It’s too easy for a kid to slip and fall when they are running around, especially on a wet dock or pier.
- Wear sunscreen – Kids can get sunburned pretty easily, so it’s important for them to wear sunscreen at all times. Use a lotion that has an SPF of 15 or higher, apply it to all exposed areas of skin, and reapply every couple hours.
- Wear a cap with a bill or brim – Many fishers, both young and old alike, will wear the bucket hats on a fishing excursion. These brimmed hats provide protection from the sun for your eyes and head. In addition, a hat with a bill or brim can also provide protection from flying hooks.
- Teach overhead casting first – When kids are casting from the side, more mishaps are prone to happen. Teach novice fishermen to cast overhead first so that they are able to learn proper casting technique. Plus this method is safer than side casting.
- Look behind before casting – Teach your little fisherman to always check out the space behind them before they cast so that they can ensure that there are no other people or obstructions in the way. No one wants to get hooked by, and it will be frustrating if your child’s hook gets caught on a tree limb or some other object mid-cast.
- Bring a first aid kit – Make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit on hand just in case an accident occurs. You will want to have antibiotic ointment, bandages, antiseptic spray or wipes, alcohol swabs, gauze and adhesive tape. Also make sure you bring any medications your child may need such as inhalers or an EpiPen.
- Bring plenty of water – Children can get dehydrated a lot faster than adults, so it is important that you make sure your child has plenty to drink during your excursion. Offer water often, especially if you are fishing on a hot day.
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