Children and Flotation Devices
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).