Patient Portal

Quincy Office
(617) 773-5070

Marshfield Office
(781) 837-5070

Safety



Life Jackets and Life Preservers

Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article

Life Jackets and Life Preservers

If your family enjoys boating, sailing, canoeing, and using personal watercraft on lakes, rivers, and streams, be sure your children wear the correct life jackets. If you do, they will be able to take part in these activities more safely.

Many children and adolescents think life jackets and life preservers are hot, bulky, and ugly. This is no longer necessarily true. Newer models look better, feel better, and provide increased protection.

Life preservers and life jackets are required by many states and must be present on all boats traveling on bodies of water supervised by the US Coast Guard.

Parents should choose from the following personal flotation devices (PFDs) approved by the US Coast Guard. Child PFD approvals are based on the child's weight. Check the user weight on the label.

Life Jackets

  • TYPE 1: This jacket floats the best. It is designed to turn most people who are unconscious in the water from the face-down position to an upright and slightly backward position. This jacket helps the person to stay in that position for a long time. It is to be used in open water and oceans. It is available in only 2 sizes: 1 size for adults more than 90 pounds and 1 size for children less than 90 pounds.

  • TYPE 2: This jacket can turn a person upright and slightly backward but not as much as the Type 1 jacket. It may not always help an unconscious person to float face up. It is comfortable and comes in many sizes for children.

  • TYPE 3: This jacket is designed for conscious users in calm, inland water. It is very comfortable and comes in many styles. This life jacket is often used for water sports and should be used only when it is expected that the rescue can be done quickly.

Life Preservers

  • TYPE 4: A life preserver is a cushion or ring and is not worn. It is designed to be used in 2 ways. It can be grasped and held until the person is rescued, or it can be thrown to someone in the water until he or she is rescued. It is not a toy and should only be used in a rescue situation. Check the label on the life preserver to be sure it meets US Coast Guard or state regulations.

Use only life jackets and life preservers that are tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and approved by the US Coast Guard. If they are, they will have a label that says so. Life jackets and life preservers are labeled by type (1, 2, 3, or 4) and for whom they are designed (child or adult).

Remember, unless your children wear or use life jackets and life preservers, they are not protected. Also, life jackets and life preservers should never be substitutes for adult supervision.

Always Remember These Tips

  • Your children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats or near bodies of water.

  • Teach your child how to put on his or her own life jacket.

  • Make sure your child is comfortable wearing a life jacket and knows how to use it.

  • Make sure the life jacket is the right size for your child. The jacket should not be loose. It should always be worn as instructed with all straps belted.

  • Blow-up water wings, toys, rafts, and air mattresses should never be used as life jackets or life preservers. They are not safe.

  • Adults should wear life jackets for their own protection and to set a good example.

Copyright © 1994

Additional Resources

An organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children with safety information for all ages

Is Your Child Sick?TM

Visual Symptom Checker What's Going Around

News @ QPA

  • 2019 Flu Clinic Dates!

    Flu Vaccine has arrived! We will be having  flu clinics for our existing patients.   Call the office today to schedule your child's annual flu vaccine.  Below are the dates of our REMAINING Flu Clinics:
    • Tuesday, 10/22 in Quincy, 4pm-7pm
    • Saturday,10/26 in MARSHFIELD, 9am-12pm
    • Saturday, 10/26 in Quincy, 1pm-4pm
    • Wednesday, 10/30 in Quincy, 2pm-5pm
    • Saturday, 11/2 in Quincy, 9am-1:30pm
    • Saturday, 11/9 in MARSHFIELD, 9am-12pm
    • Tuesday, 11/12 in MARSHFIELD, 3pm-5pm
    • Saturday, 11/23 in Quincy, 9am-2pm


     

     
  • Remembering Dr. Russell Irons

    To All our Quincy Pediatrics Families, Friends, Patients and Colleagues,
    It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Russell Irons, January 3, 1927-July 28, 2019.  Dr. Russell Irons touched the lives of so many people as a beloved physician, father, grandfather, friend, and colleague.  Dr. Irons started Quincy Pediatrics in 1971 and provided exceptional care to his patients for over forty-five years.   Dr. Irons will be remembered for his compassion, sharp intellect, contagious laugh, and love for his family, friends, colleagues, patients, and Becket/Chimney Corners family.   The love and gratitude we all feel for him cannot be expressed in words.   The legacy of Dr. Russell Irons will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.