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I remember the first time I took my kids on a boat ride to Tarkwa Bay. I was excited and terrified. Okay, more terrified than excited. I kept praying nothing should go wrong. It was a surprise trip planned by my siblings on my birthday and I did not know in time to prep the children for it.

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I kept thinking of all the things that could go wrong. If you are planning a similar trip for your little ones and you already feel the same anxiety I experienced, then this is for you.

Teach Them How To Swim

If your children visit the swimming pool often, don’t let them only play in the water. Make sure they learn how to swim. Get a swimming coach or pay for swimming lessons for them. Also, teach them the difference between a swimming pool and natural bodies of water. Explain undertows, currents, rocky surfaces, etc. to them and how to manage if faced with them. Learning to bask in any body of water early on can help children respect it rather than fear it. When children know how to handle themselves in water, you will be less scared of allowing them to engage in water activities like boating.

Wear Them Life Jackets

The weight of your child determines the size of the life jacket. Most manufacturers design life jackets for children, typically for extra safety. They include a crotch strap that prevents the life jacket from riding up, a handle on the life jacket used to lift the child out of the water easily and head support that is padded to keep the child’s head above the water.

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If you cannot buy a brand new one for the trip, make sure the one you are renting is fitted and still in a useful state.

Give Them Rules To Abide By

Instruct them to remain seated, and keep hands and feet on the boat at all times. They should not rock the boat or make sudden movements in the boat. Tell them not to dive into the water from the boat because they don’t know how shallow or deep the water is or if there is a rocky surface beneath it. Tell them they must always hold on to something once the boat is moving. If you are boating on a yacht, tell them not to touch any switches. No kids on deck alone, even while at anchor—and no leaving the cockpit unless with a parent. Don’t just give them rules, enforce them.

Prepare for Emergency and Entertainment

Take safety courses, learn CPR, and have a first aid kit and sun safety equipment on board. Keep snacks, blankets, ponchos/Umbrellas, ice packs, and plastic bags for wet clothes, close by. Make the outing fun and engaging for the children, so boredom doesn’t make them get into trouble.

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Carry inflatable water toys and water balloons. Plan fun games to play with them during the boat ride. That way, you won’t have much to worry about.  

The rainy season means water table levels are high. There are so many fun activities to be had in the water this season. So we hope with the above information, we have armed you with enough to brave the waters.


Dan Boater

Markel Insurance

The passport Kids

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This article was first published on 22nd July 2022


Ann Esievoadje is a freelance writer who is passionate about encouraging a reading culture and personal development. She has authored two books, The Quilt (fiction) and Being Mummy and Me (non-fiction). She manages Pulchra Publishing which offers a content creation/editing, transcription, different forms of writing (including Ghostwriting) service and her blog, Life Love and Anything Goes at You can reach her at

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