Safety Tips for Kayaking with Kids
If you’re looking to get out on the water and cool off in the Las Vegas area, kayaking is one of the top activities to enjoy. Kayaking is great exercise, and it’s also a sport that the entire family can enjoy. If you are looking for an activity that you can take your kids on for a unique adventure, kayaking is the way to go. One of the nice aspects of kayaking is that it is accessible for all skill levels, but safety is paramount no matter how skilled you are and how long you’ve been kayaking in Vegas. Blazin’ Paddles has some tips to share to make your expedition out on the water safe for the entire family.
Know the Rules
Although kayaking is a fun and enjoyable sport, there are still rules that you’ll need to abide by in order to make sure that you have a good time out on the water. Your children should be aware of the basic rules of kayaking in Vegas, including:
- When to use the paddles
- How to hold the paddles
- No jumping
- No standing or leaning
- Proper life vest use
Children will need to know how to use the boat and its associated equipment when they are out on Las Vegas kayak tours of any duration. Choosing the proper boat for children is important, but they will also need to know how to paddle correctly. At a minimum, children should be able to paddle confidently enough that they can maneuver their boat alone. In order to help your child get used to paddling, you may want to start off practicing in a calm body of water, such as a small pond or even a pool. You may also feel that your child (and even you) will benefit from taking paddling lessons. If the latter is the case, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to schedule lessons before you set out on a Las Vegas kayak adventure.
Practice on Calm Waters
Starting off on calm waters is critical as you teach your child how to kayak Las Vegas. Learning to boat safely will help build your child’s confidence and make them feel more at ease when out on a tour or a family kayaking adventure. Before committing to Las Vegas kayak tours, consider renting kayaks as a family and practicing in a calm and relaxed environment. At a minimum, a “safe” environment should be one without wind or waves, and there should be several shorelines in close reach. The time of year is also important. Even in Las Vegas, water temperatures can be very cold in the wintertime, so you should try to schedule lessons when the water is warmer.
Practice Based on Your Child’s Ability
While you might be able to spend hours out on the water in a kayak in Las Vegas, your children may not be able to spend unlimited amounts of time out on the water. If you are acting as the instructor and trying to teach your child how to kayak, it’s important to understand that they may have limits that you don’t. Parents should avoid pushing their children too far, which will in turn, prevent injury and keep them from getting too tired. Keeping lessons short and sweet is also key. While you might be able to spend hours out on the water, your child won’t be able to keep going as long. When scheduling lessons, plan to spend a maximum of 15-30 minutes out on the water. After that time, go back to the shore so that your child can have a proper rest. Taking breaks on the shoreline is also an excellent opportunity to relax with your child and stop to look for wildflowers or wildlife. Breaking up the trip into activities on the shore and on the water will also keep your child interested.
Bring Water and Snacks
If you plan to go out kayaking in Vegas at any time, you’ll want to make sure that your child doesn’t end up hungry or thirsty. Before heading out, you should always pack snacks and plenty of water. Water is one of the most essential items to bring on a kayaking expedition. However, other snacks that pack plenty of nutrition and will sustain your child’s energy levels are also a good choice. Some good choices are nuts, dried fruit, crackers, jerky, and granola or granola bars. If your child prefers a liquid snack, juice boxes are a good option.
Bring a Friend
Bringing a friend along for the adventure makes many situations more fun, and that certainly applies to a Las Vegas kayak adventure. Even if you and your child are heading out on official Las Vegas kayak tours, inviting one of your child’s friends along for a kayaking lesson can make learning to kayak more fun and enjoyable. If you do allow a child to take a friend along for the outing, make sure that there are enough adults to look after the children and be able to respond in case of an emergency.
Adopt a Kid-Friendly Approach
While some children look forward to spending time outside and away from school, technology, or other distractions, others may need more stimulation to avoid becoming bored. That is especially true of younger children, who generally become fatigued and even bored more easily than adults. Smaller children may need to take breaks more frequently than older children and adults. If they need more stimulation to avoid getting cranky or board, you can supply a variety of materials, including:
- A toy boat or kayak
- A toy fishing line
- Pebbles for throwing into the water
Even if you don’t anticipate your child getting bored or tired in a lesson, it is always best to plan ahead in case your child doesn’t enjoy the outing as much as you hoped. If you choose to bring along an item that might get ruined if it gets wet, such as a book, be sure to bring along a bag that you can safely keep the item in so that it doesn’t get destroyed by the water.
Toe the Line
If necessary, you should be prepared to toe the line for your child. If you are not planning to double kayak with your child, stay close to them during the lesson and have the tow line ready if necessary. Having a tow line available is also a good idea if your child wants to kayak solo but is not quite fully ready for an extended adventure.
Have a Continuous Learning Lesson
When teaching your child to kayak, remember that the lesson does not have to end the minute you return the boat to shore. You should encourage your children to ask any questions that they have about kayaking, especially when it comes to boating safety. If you are more experienced and they are curious to learn more from you, you can always teach them more, provided you keep safety in mind!
Once you’ve taught your child basic kayaking safety, it’s time to venture out on the water. You can contact Blazin’ Paddles for Las Vegas kayak tours that the entire family can safely enjoy.