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To think DS (4) should wear a life jacket on a canal boat?

(112 Posts)
BoyMeetsWorld Thu 25-Jul-13 20:26:57

Ok, genuinely looking for your opinions as I freely admit I can be a paranoid Mum.

ExP & his parents regularly take our DS (4) on the family canal boat, sometimes just for short trips sometimes for longer holidays. They actively encourage him to help with the locks etc & he has free run. None of the adults onboard can swim (they never learned) & DS told me today that since he putgrew his infant life jacket 2 years ago they haven't bought him a new one.

Am I being unreasonable to expect him to have (& wear) a life jacket?

Would like your thoughts before I raise it with ExP

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 25-Jul-13 20:29:25

YA (absolutely) NBU.

Your ds should definitely have a life jacket (not just a buoyancy aid) on while he's on deck or around the locks IMO.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 25-Jul-13 20:31:13


My 7yo niece wears a life jacket on their canal boat.

phantomnamechanger Thu 25-Jul-13 20:31:16

YA soooo NBU!

TeenAndTween Thu 25-Jul-13 20:32:52

Definitely needs a life jacket.

We were just debating here whether strong swimmer DD1 age 14 still needs one on motor boat on Thames. Decided not on boat, but yes for around locks if getting out / helping etc.

PigeonPie Thu 25-Jul-13 20:33:11

If you were hiring a boat from a hire company they now insist on children, I think under 14, wearing life jackets.

I can remember going on my aunt's boat at about four, but because we didn't have a life jacket having to wear my blow up arm bands! However this was in about 1974 and jackets have come on a long way since then.

I think that your DS should be wearing one and I would insist. My DSs have certainly worn them on boats.

I spent many happy holidays on narrow boats as a youngster - probably from the age of 10 and I have to say that once we got our confidence we didn't have life belts, as they were hot and cumbersome, and we were very confident swimmers. But as with seat belts and car seats, life has changed.

kinkyfuckery Thu 25-Jul-13 20:34:46


HazelnutinCaramel Thu 25-Jul-13 20:34:51

Easiest question I've ever seen on here. Yes he should.

SoleSource Thu 25-Jul-13 20:34:56



cathpip Thu 25-Jul-13 20:35:05

YANBU, we just bought two for our children to go on a friends boat for the day, doubt they will be used again. They cost £25 each, not much for peace of mind really.

Justforlaughs Thu 25-Jul-13 20:35:48

It would depend on what barriers there were around the boat, but certainly if he is being encouraged to get involved in managing the locks YANBU. Is there any way that you can buy one for him? (yes, it should be your ex that buys it, but in the greater scheme of things it's more important that he wears one than having a fight over who buys it not saying that it would necessarily end in a fight, but this is mumsnet grin)

lillibet1 Thu 25-Jul-13 20:37:18

we had narrow boats for many years and my brother and I and all the other kids had to wear them until we were at least 8 and could swim unaided two continuous lengths of a full sized pool

of course he should

BoyMeetsWorld Thu 25-Jul-13 20:37:59

Thanks everyone for the opinions: makes me realise I'm not just being silly. I know it's going to cause a fight with ExP even if I'm really polite about it but I think it's important.

Thanks for the idea re: buying a life jacket for him myself, that's a really good idea if he won't co-operate

quoteunquote Thu 25-Jul-13 20:41:09

I can't think of a single reason he shouldn't wear one.

Cakebaker35 Thu 25-Jul-13 20:43:40

YANBU! Tbh I doubt I'd let my child on a boat if there was no one there that could swim either, unbelievable! Call me paranoid but saving experienced first hand how tricky it us to get a person out of the water, even as a strong swimmer, I think they're really irresponsible. Rant over.

ThePowerof3 Thu 25-Jul-13 20:45:37

I'd buy one and give it to them

laterplease Thu 25-Jul-13 20:49:29

I can only add a very definite YES. However it happens, and whoever buys it, he MUST wear a life jacket at all times when out on deck or around the locks. This would be essential even with strong swimmers onboard.

thebody Thu 25-Jul-13 20:49:30

yes he should and how bizarre that all 3 adults are non swimmers.

I would worry about this as obviously ex p patents didn't have enough healthy respect for water to teach their own child to swim!

I would really worry about their casual attitude to safety actually.

Tuckshop Thu 25-Jul-13 20:49:39

Yes definitely needs one that fits properly.

Justforlaughs Thu 25-Jul-13 20:51:57

Just buy one and give it to him, word it as "it just occurred to me that DS must have almost outgrown his other one by now, I thought it was easier if i bought this one" then ensure that he wears it all the time. If you find out that he isn't, then I'm afraid that I would be curtailing the visits and I really don't say that lightly

littlewhitebag Thu 25-Jul-13 20:57:25

There is no way i would let him even near the boat without a lifejacket. I think you would be reasonable to say 'no lifejacket, no child on boat'.

HoneyDragon Thu 25-Jul-13 21:01:43

When we had our boat ALL children and dogs were in life jackets, no jacket no boat.

Pollaidh Thu 25-Jul-13 21:07:53

Where I sail up to 7,8 etc and older wear them even on the bigger boats, and with someone holding an attached leash too.

surroundedbyblondes Thu 25-Jul-13 21:10:04

Our DC ALWAYS have life jackets when on the water, we insist that they put them on before walking down the jetty.

Emilythornesbff Thu 25-Jul-13 21:12:10

As someone else said: easiest question ever posted.
A proper life jacket that fits.
Any sniff of the adults not making him wear it and I wouldn't let him go.

Why are some ppl so difficult?

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