Childrens Life Jackets, Thoughts Please.

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aquaplane
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Childrens Life Jackets, Thoughts Please.

Postby aquaplane » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:07 pm

I'm about to do the Grandad thing and buy a lifejacket for the grandson.

My kids had a todler thing that was all straps and a big collar, but it was still a buoyancy aid if I remember right. Then they progressed into a dingy type buoyancy aid with a zip up front.

I believe that loosing someone from a yacht underway is a bit drastic so the harness and short tether route is best for underway. It's the trip from the car untill they are below and points between that I want to buy for.

The Crewsaver 150N Seatoddler looks OK but a bit bulky. I also have my eye on a Seago automatic jobbie which looks like the adult ones we use, and is also less cumbersome to live in I would think. Both have a built in harness for when underway.

Should I just put arm bands on him?
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Postby damo » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:13 pm

Couple of things to consider:

The autoinflate type should have a ring on the back for a tether, so little fingers can't get at it. I found that it was very inconvenient, and a sling attached at the front with a larks foot did a better job. When the toddler was moving about the sling on the back would bring them up short unexpectedly, though if they did go into the water they would be towed backwards, which is a much safer state of affairs.
Crutch straps are needed for them to be effective, and if they should fall in there will be a terrifying BANG as the bottle goes off!

But they are compact and relatively unobtrusive.

The collared buoyancy jackets can be uncomfortable when it is hot, but provide a lot of padding if they fall. They are easier to put on and off. Buoyancy aids can be dangerous in the water if there is no collar, since it doesn't keep the face out of the water, but the collar gets in the way otherwise!

That's my tuppence worth :)

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Re: Children's Lifejackets

Postby ash » Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:04 pm

We have 3 of these Compass24 foamfilled on board for the under 5 s. The 9 yr old also still has a foamfilled, although I think that she would possibly be happier now in an automatic.

Everyone wears LJs when underway, and of course in the dinghy, but we don't have harness.

The foam filled help to protect against bumps, and are warm.

In the marina a big worry is if a child falls into the water, they will be very difficult to spot in the small gaps between hulls and pontoons and they won't be able to climb out, so unless they are under the close supervision of an adult, they have to don their LJ before they leave the saloon. In this situation a bouyancy aid might be more acceptable to them, but only if they can swim.

I can never understand why you can buy an adult automatic LJ more cheaply than one for a child.

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Re: Childrens Life Jackets, Thoughts Please.

Postby Silkie » Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:39 am

aquaplane wrote:I'm about to do the Grandad thing and buy a lifejacket for the grandson.

I'm about to do the same and there seems to be no ideal solution.

However since he's going to be wearing it permanently while aboard and anywhere near the water it'll have to be an auto with harness and crotch straps, I think. The prices are ridiculous compared to adult ones. I'm sure the manufacturers will justify this in terms of economies of scale but this is a product for which they should be prepared to accept the swings and roundabouts principle IMO since the ratio of sales must be far greater than 100:1
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Postby claymore » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:57 am

Tricky one - the daughter sailed from about 5 years old and we always put her in a bouyancy aid with a flotation collar as we felt it was warmer. It had crotch straps too.
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Postby chakalo » Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:19 am

Sailing when my kids were small I used to make them wear army surplus webbing belts festooned with old galvanised shackles...they're still 'ere though...40 years later...still costin' me money. :rotfl: (NSPCC I'm kiddin' alright?) :D

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Postby aquaplane » Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:55 pm

The grandson is 3 and can't swim.

The fact that he has little to no chance of getting away from a responsible adult (ok, a bit of leeway please) is going to be ignored for now.

My daughter prefers this. It's a life jacket, has a harness, no loud pop to inflate it, and warm for UK waters.

I've seen one OK for <20Kg, like this. That was my prefered option. I thought it would be easier to wear too.

The amount of use it's likely to get this is probably good enough.
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Cheers Bob.

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Re: Bob's Grandson

Postby ash » Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:08 pm

Hi Bob

I don't think that I would use an inflatable for a 3 year old. There will be a (very short) delay whilst it inflates, the pop will be fairly frightening, and the inflated bladder can be very tight around the neck. There have been tests in some of the mags in the past - can't remember which - I suscribe to PBO, YM, and ST.

Your daughter's choice has easier crutch straps, but the wearer isn't going to manage the harness - which might be a good thing - if he's likely to undo things.

The wearer should be able to cope with the clips on your choice - but it looks as if it has thigh straps which might be more difficult.

If you do go for foam filled, then get one where the foam is in smaller pieces - it will fit to the body better. In my pic above, g/daughter has one with solid pieces whilst g/son has one with a number of smaller pieces.

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