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#LIFEHACK - How to Get Your Kid to (Always) Wear a PFD

Posted on August 05 2019

Our children were brought up around water with both a swimming pool and pond just through the woods from our house.  As parents, this meant swimming lessons early and getting them into a personal flotation device (PFD) that they would actually want to wear anytime they were on the water. 

The search to find the perfect kid PFD began and ended with the Astral Otter, which I covered in this T.F.M. post awhile back.  After quite a few years of use, Hadley and Finn finally grew out their Otters' and have both moved up to the Astral YTV.  This is a comfortable low profile and easy on/easy off PFD and we're hoping to get as many years of use out of these as we did with their first PFD.  

Now, it's easy for children to reach a point where they start to think they are a good enough swimmer to not need a PFD (and it's likely that mom and dad haven't always been a good example of always wearing one all the time either) when they are on the water but we're trying to keep them in that "Wear your PFD" mindset at all times.  They are getting old enough now to take the kayaks out on the pond on their own and we really don't want them cutting corners on safety.

So, how do you get your child to wear their PFD?  How about putting that square tab on the the front of their PFD to good use and get your child a utility knife?  I've affixed a Gerber River Shorty to each of their PFD's which is both useful and your kid feels like a badass who's ready for anything when they are on the water...while they're wearing their PFD.  Parenting win.

We are fortunate since we have two children who are very safety minded (maybe it's from mom who's a nurse and dad who's a cop) and they both of a focus on preparedness when in the outdoors.  Sure, this means them wanting to fill up their packs with "survival gear" but they also take the time to learn the how-to, when-to, why-to and practice these skills when they are outside.  The utility knife on the PFD is just one part of that.  It's a proud dad moment to have children who are ready for anything when they're in the wild.

- It looks like the Gerber River Shorty is currently not available on the website (you can still find it elsewhere online) but be sure to check out the new Crossriver and Crossriver - Salt.  Both models are great choices for a PFD utility knife.  Mom and dad might need one too.  

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