1. Wear your PFD.
2. Make sure your PFD fits.
3. Don't sit on your PFD--take care of it, it could save your life.
4. Wear your PFD!
1. Put the PFD around your neck
2. Tie the neck straps in a bow
3. Buckle the waist belt
4. Pull the waist belt until it is snug (ideally, the PFD should be adjustable so that you can get a snug, but comfortable fit, over a range
of clothing, from a T-shirt to a pile sweater to a parka or rain-coat).
5. Try some paddling motions to make sure the PFD doesn't chafe or impair your
range of motion.
6. Kneel or sit, and with your arms raised over your head, ask a friend to lift the top of PFD as high as it will go. If the neck tie of the PFD goes above your chin, or if your ears and neck slip though the head opening, it’s too loose. The PFD should not move freely or slip off.
7. Readjust the PFD as needed and repeat step 6
The United States Coast Guard approves different types of Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) for different activities—check the label on your PFD to make sure it is approved for what you are planning to do with it. Also make sure the PFD is the right size for the person who will be using it (they are rated by weight), and if is for a child make sure you use a PFD that is specially designed for children.
Teachers, educators and parents can incorporate lessons on river safety using the lesson plans and materials provided in the Kids 4 the Kaw, the River Safety Lesson Plan developed for the Teens 4 the Kaw or High School. We encourage everyone who works with youth to help us make sure that we all have a safe and fun time at the river.