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Texas law requires the following with respect to personal flotation devices (PFDs), sometimes known as life jackets.

Fitting a pfd to a child
  • All vessels (including canoes, kayaks, and other paddlecraft) must have at least one USCG-approved Type I, II, III, or V (wearable) PFD for each person on board.
  • In addition to the requirements for PFDs, vessels 16 feet or longer (except canoes and kayaks) must have one USCG-approved Type IV (throwable) PFD on board.
  • All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and must be readily accessible. The PFDs must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
  • Texas law requires all children under 13 years of age to wear a USCG-approved Type I, II, III, or V (wearable) PFD while underway (not at anchor, moored, or aground) on any vessel less than 26 feet long, including canoes, kayaks, and other paddlecraft.
  • Each person riding on or being towed behind a PWC must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD.
  • One Type V may be substituted for any other type if it is specifically approved by the USCG for the activity at hand. Type V PFDs may not be substituted on children weighing less than 90 lbs.