About the Study Guide

This Online Study Guide has been approved by Transport Canada strictly on the basis that it meets the requirements of the Standard for Pleasure Craft Operator Card Testing over the Internet (TP 15080E) and the Boating Safety Course and Test Syllabus (TP 14932E). This approval does not represent confirmation of authorship by the course provider. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Pleasure Craft Operator Card

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Fitting a PFD to a child

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).