You might not be aware of it but most, if not all, states have a PFD mandate that requires all children under the age of 13 to wear a life jacket in a boat. If you and your family are planning on going boating and you have a 2-year-old toddler with you, a PFD (personal floatation device) is a must for everyone. While bigger life jackets are easier to find than a life jacket for 2-year-old toddlers, they are out there.
What you need to concern yourself with is not where to find them. You can easily instigate a search on the internet and you will find a lot of options for this. What you should pay closer attention to is the kind of life jacket for 2-year-old kids that you are choosing from and what features they offer.
What to Remember When Buying Life Jackets
When you’re shopping for a life jacket for your 2-year-old, always keep in mind that there are rules you have to follow when buying them. While most of the rules that govern the choice of life jackets are technically the same across the board, there are some that you have to add to your list when it comes to PFDs for toddlers. Some of the rules you have to consider include the following:
Check for Coast Guard Seal of Approval – These are life jackets that meet the standards set by the Coast Guard for such safety gear. The most important basis for this is the PFD’s structure and buoyancy. For buoyancy, there are minimum levels that have to be followed no matter what size the PFD is. For infant to toddler sized life jackets, these need to have a minimum buoyancy of 7 pounds.
Check the Design – Another thing to think about is the design of the life jacket. Most children under the age of five usually require a PFD with padded head support that can always keep their head above water. This will help prevent their head from going underwater even if they panic when they fall accidentally into the water. Also, make sure that your child’s PFD has a crotch strap and a grab handle.
Check the Right Size – The right size for your child is usually dependent not on their age but on their weight. Most life jackets for children under the age of 5 are made to be worn by kids who weigh between 8 pounds and 33 pounds. If your child is heavier than 33 pounds, even though they are 3 or 4 years old, get them a bigger life jacket for their weight.
Choose a Bright Color – The color of your toddler’s life jacket is also important. Don’t go for dull or understated colors when it comes to these safety devices. Instead, go for bright and easy-to-see shades like yellow, orange, bright green, and so on. This will ensure that should your child be accidentally separated from you, you can easily spot them because they are wearing a bright PFD.