Going fishing can be a wonderful way to bond with your child. You spend time together talking, enjoying the outdoors, and learning about nature. To help make this experience a happy memory for you and your kid, have a look at these kid’s fishing safety tips.

Personal flotation devices.

Kid’s fishing safety tips must include advice about personal floatation devices, anytime you’re on or near the water, you and your children should be wearing a personal flotation device (life vest). It should be well-fitted, USCG-approved, and appropriate for their age and size.

Swimming skills.

Preferably your kids will know how to swim before you take them on a fishing trip. Especially if they’re young or novice swimmers, keep to calmer, shallower water. Regardless of whether or not they know how to swim, always have them wear life vests (and wear a vest yourself).

Safer fish hook use.

Adults get hurt from mishandling fishing hooks; with kids there’s generally a higher risk of injury, especially if they’re inexperienced at fishing or are too young to handle the hooks responsibly (including knowing to keep hooks away from their eyes). You can bait the hook for them. If you want them to start using the hooks themselves, you can select hooks that at least aren’t barbed. You should also demonstrate how to use the hook safely.

Getting to shore easily.

In addition to staying on relatively calm, shallow water, you should also see how easy it is to get on land again; for example, you don’t want pick a place where the only way to get back on land would be to climb up steep, high and slippery embankments.

Other creatures.

Depending on where you choose to fish, there may be some unpleasant wildlife around. This could be anything from mosquitoes to bears. Stay alert and know how to handle encountering these different creatures. Also listen to the news or to local reports of any increased animal activity in a given area or the presence of dangerous bacteria in the water you want to fish in.

Packing.

Make sure to bring food and water with you, sunscreen, hats, and shades, bug repellent, maps, a first aid kit, and some technology you can use for emergency communications if needed. Also, be reasonable about how long your child can stay outdoors. Young children probably won’t be able to go for a full-day fishing trip.

Keeping an eye on the weather.

Getting caught out on the water during a heavy storm isn’t safe; flooding can make a tame body of water dangerous, and you also don’t want to be exposed to lightning, hail or strong winds.

Group trips.

Especially if you have young kids, you might want to have more than one trusted adult around to make sure all the kids are properly supervised. You can assign each kid to an adult, making sure that the child is definitely being watched by someone.

Fishing trip rules.

From the start, you should lay down firm rules for fishing. This includes kids being calm and well-behaved on the boat, not leaning over the edge, not putting things in their mouth (including bait and fish), and listening to all instructions carefully. If your kid can’t follow these rules, it’s a sign that they may not be ready yet to go fishing with you.

Injured? Contact Us. 

In the aftermath of an accident on the water, don’t hesitate to contact a reputable and experienced attorney who can help you deal with insurance companies and, depending on the situation, with anyone responsible for the accident. In the meantime, do your best to follow basic safety guidelines, which significantly reduce the chances of an accident when fishing.