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Course Outline

Children should wear a flotation device and be near an adult at all times. It is a good idea to attach a plastic pealess whistle to the child’s flotation device.

  • When buying a child’s lifejacket:
    • Verify that it is Canadian-approved.
    • Always read the label of the lifejacket to make sure it is the right size based on the child's weight and chest size.
    • Try it on your child.
    • Make sure to check that it fits snugly.
      • Test the fit by picking the child up by the shoulders of the lifejacket and checking that his or her chin and ears do not slip through the lifejacket.
      • The lifejacket is too large if there are more than 7.6 cm (3 inches) between the lifejacket and your child’s shoulders.
  • These safety features are important in a child’s lifejacket:
    • A between-the-legs safety strap to keep the flotation device in place
    • A large, supportive collar for the child’s head
    • Retro-reflective tape to make it more visible at night
    • Safety straps with buckles
    • Waist ties or elastic gathers in front and back
  • You may choose a PFD instead of a lifejacket for your child.
    • Child-size inherently buoyant PFDs are sized as follows:
      • 27-41 kg (59-90 lbs)
      • 14-27 kg (31-60 lbs)
      • 9-14 kg (20-31 lbs)
    • There are no Canadian-approved inflatable PFDs for children under 9 kg (20 lbs).
Person fitting a PFD on a child
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