Add to Your Safety on the Water With a PFD  

by Pool Builders on 06-13-2012 in Articles

If you purchase a personal flotation device, also called a PFD, in the US, check to be sure it is Coast Guard approved.Different agencies around the world have their own standards for acceptance and use. There are several styles from which to choose. Sports sections carry them for one specific reason.Wearing this device when working or playing on or near open waters provides additional protection in an emergency. In the event a person is washed overboard, the vest makes the victim more visible to rescue workers.

The image of brilliant orange combined with bulky pieces wrapped around the chest and back comes to mind when people think of water safety. Those who have been on a cruise have learned how to slip into and fasten a lifejacket. Straps cinch the jacket tight, but it must still be the proper size. Scattered throughout the ship, clearly marked lockers hold the vests. If your station is missing a vest for your child, ask the team leader to place one in the locker. Even if you have been on a cruise a dozen times, the equipment changes from ship to ship. People wearing orange are easier to see whether they are standing on the deck or swimming in the water.

Swimming pool floatation devices are trendy because of the calm water, but they still have size and weight limits that should be followed. They are made of plastic or fabric and filled with buoyant materials to keep the wearer's upper body above the water line. They provide a measure of security without interfering with the moves required to swim properly. Adjustable Velcro straps help the parent fit the item to their child. The devices do not substitute for your watchful eye.Shapes and designs on the floats make it easier to pick out your little swimmer within the group.

The inflatable PFD is also Coast Guard-approved and offers advantages to sailors on open waters, such as minimal interference with duties while wearing the gear. The protective apparel is designed to work with rather than against the working sailor.The ability to do a job even while wearing protective gear makes it more likely to be worn. Those who choose to go swimming in a river or lake are typically aware of the physical conditioning required to successfully move through the current. Trying to stay afloat and swim in situations involving stormy weather, waves, and currents requires a lot of strength and energy.

Inflatables offer the ability to inflate the PFD manually or automatically. It is less bulky to wear than the standard adult lifejacket, but provides more buoyancy and comfort while minimizing any confinement to motion.It is designed to turn unconscious wearers onto their back and hold conscious wearers higher in the water, making it easier to breathe.

Follow the instructions for care and keep it from waterlogging.Although it may look insignificant when it is not inflated, the protection that it gives you in an emergency situation is invaluable. Staying afloat while taking a short break from swimming preserves energy. Even when floating at night, safety features like a light make you visible. To be effective, it must fit properly and be in good condition. Your life depends on it.

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