Pick the Right Life Jackets for You and Your Family

Pick the Right Life Jackets for You and Your Family https://learningcentre.statefarm.ca/safety-2/pick-the-right-life-jackets-for-you-and-your-family/ bb3 Jun 26, 2014

By Staff Writer

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img_sfus_pick-the-right-life-jacket.jpgAccording to the Canadian Red Cross, 166 Canadians drown in boating accidents each year ó and most never intended to get in the water. Life jackets and personal flotation devices (PFD) can reduce drowning risk when youíre in, on or near the water. So be sure to wear one that fits you and your favourite activities.

Which One?
Life jackets and PFDs arenít the same. A life jacket is designed to turn and hold an unconscious floater face up; a PFD will keep a personís head above water but not necessarily out of it.

What to Consider
Keep three things in mind when selecting a flotation device:

  • Size: Look for a Canadian approval label that lists the appropriate weight and chest size. Try it on. Go up a size if it restricts movement or if you canít fasten the buckles and straps correctly. Go down a size if you are able to pull it over your ears.
  • Skill: A PFD is suitable for most adults and experienced swimmers who are comfortable in the water. Children and weak swimmers should opt for a life jacket.
  • Activity: Specific recreational activities such as skiing, kayaking and fishing may call for a specialized PFD. Talk with a salesperson about what type is best for you ó you may need more than one.

Added Safety Features
Some life jackets and PFDs come with extras. Look for flotation devices with:

  • A grab strap behind the collar
  • Bright colours
  • Reflective tape
  • A whistle
  • A safety strap to prevent children from slipping out

Special Care
Keeping your flotation device in pristine condition will help preserve its effectiveness. After each use, clean flotation devices with mild soap and water. Always store them in a dry area ó but never near a direct heat source, including sunlight. Check the buoyancy at the beginning of the season each year. If you ever see signs of fading, rips, tears or waterlog, itís time for a replacement.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.