How To Choose A Child’s Lifejacket.

How To Choose A Child’s Lifejacket.

Ensure You Choose The Correct Lifejacket.

Children’s lifejackets can rely on foam, or air only to provide buoyancy. Normally, foam lifejackets provide about 100N of buoyancy and are suitable for inshore use. Air only lifejackets meet the requirements of a 150N lifejacket and are suitable for offshore use.

Air only lifejackets tend to be smaller, lighter and more comfortable to wear, but this type of lifejacket does not provide any buoyancy when it is not inflated. These jackets inflate by activating a gas cylinder, and may be activated automatically if the wearer enters the water or be activated by pulling a tab. A new gas bottle is needed each time the jacket is activated. These lifejackets should be serviced at least once a year.

Foam lifejackets are usually bulkier, but they provide inherent buoyancy and may also help to keep the child warm and provide a degree of protection in the case of a fall.

Features

All lifejackets are intended to support the wearer on their back with their face clear of the water.

Children’s lifejackets are supplied with a whistle to attract attention, and crotch straps as standard that must be worn at all times to prevent the jacket slipping off in the water or during rescue.

Additionally, unlike adults’ lifejackets, many children’s lifejackets are also available with a built in safety harness with a ‘D’ ring attachment at the rear of the jacket. This is particularly suitable for younger children who can be attached to a suitable adult either on board, or at the water’s edge. For older children, the child may be harnessed to the vessel, but children should never be harnessed to a high-speed power vessel as there is a risk of being dragged underwater if the child falls overboard.

Fitting

All children’s lifejackets state a maximum weight and chest size which must not be exceeded, however it is equally important not to purchase a jacket which is too large as this may result in the child slipping out of the jacket or the jacket may float high in the water leaving the child’s mouth and nose submerged. A good way to tell if a jacket is the right size is to fit and adjust the jacket and then lift the jacket from the top. It should not be possible to lift the jacket more than one inch from the child’s shoulders. If it is possible to move the jacket, it is too large and you should try a smaller size.

A Good guide to lifejacket types is available from Maritime New Zealand

 

150N Air Foam Lifejackets

 

Lifejacket Body Weight
(> greater than;
< less than)
Chest Minimum
Permanent
Buoyancy
Minimum Total
Buoyancy
Seababy <44lbs (<20kg) 50-58cm (20-23″) 7.0lbs (30N) 10.0lbs (45N)
Seatoddler <44lbs (<20kg) 58-75cm (23-30″) 7.0lbs (30N) 10.0lbs (45N)
Seachild 44-66lbs (20-30kg) 66-76cm (26-30″) 10.0lbs (45N) 13.5lbs (60N)
BSI Child 44-88lbs (20-40kg) 65-85cm (26-33″) 10.3lbs (46N) 22.3lbs (99N)
BSI Adult >88lbs (>40kg) 75-100cm (30-39″) 13.8lbs (61N) 35.0lbs (156N)
BSI/DOTp Large Adult >88lb (>40kg) 85-125cm (33-49″) 20.0lbs (89N) 40.0lbs (178N)

100N Foam Lifejackets

Lifejacket Body Weight
(> greater than;
< less than)
Chest Minimum
Permanent
Buoyancy
Minimum Total
Buoyancy
Baby <33lbs (<15kg) 40-57cm (16-22″) 6.7lbs (30N)
Child <44lbs (<20kg) 53-61cm (21-24″) 6.7lbs (30N)
Large Child 44-66lbs (20-30kg) 57-70cm (22-27″) 9.0lbs (40N)
Junior 66-88lbs (30-40kg) 69-79cm (27-31″) 11.0lbs (50N)
Adult Small 88-132lbs (40-60kg) 86-96cm (34-38″) 15.7lbs (70N)
Adult Medium 110-154lbs (50-70kg) 97-107cm (38-42″) 18.0lbs (80N)
Adult Large >88lbs (>40kg) 107-117cm (42-46″) 22.4lbs (100N)
Extra Large >88lbs (>40kg) 117-127cm (46-50″) 22.4lbs (100N)

50N Buoyancy Aids

Lifejacket Body Weight
(> greater than;
< less than)
Chest Minimum
Permanent
Buoyancy
Minimum Total
Buoyancy
Junior 66-88lbs (30-40kg) 76-86cm (30-34″) 7.8lbs (35N)
Small/Medium 88-154lbs (40-70kg) 86-107cm (34-42″) 10.0lbs (45N)
Medium/Large >154lbs (>70kg) 107-117cm (42-46″) 11.0lbs (50N)
Extra Large >154lbs (>70kg) 117-127cm (46-50″) 11.0lbs (50N)
By | 2014-01-25T00:35:26+00:00 January 25th, 2014|Blog|Comments Off on How To Choose A Child’s Lifejacket.