Children aged under 12 years
Children aged under 12 years must wear a lifejacket:
- on all vessels up to 4.8m long at all times
- in open areas of all vessels up to 8m long when the vessel is underway.
When choosing a lifejacket, make sure it fits well and the child cannot slip out of it. A lifejacket with a crotch strap is recommended.
Some sports and department stores sell 'swim vests' designed for children learning to swim under supervision. These vests are not an approved type of lifejacket as they do not offer the same level of protection.
Inflatable lifejackets are not recommended for children aged under 12 years. If a child is wearing an auto-inflating lifejacket when playing, the lifejacket may inflate if it gets wet. If they're wearing a manual inflatable lifejacket, they may forget how to activate it in a stressful emergency situation.