Kayaking & Young Kids – SAFETY TIPS

By Beta Dad | Last Updated: July 12th, 2017

Summer is here. You are ready to get out into the outdoors and enjoy the fun things you like to do; especially water sports.

It’s a great way to stay cool and enjoy the warmer weather.

One of the most enjoyable sports that is growing in popularity is kayaking or canoeing.

It is great for adults and teens and even older children, but can you take your younger toddlers kayaking and still be safe? The answer is yes.

First thing with kayaking, as with any sport, especially water sports, is safety. When you go to the next level and participate in watersports with young children, safety is of utmost importance.

Kayaking can be a fun family sport that all ages can enjoy.

There’s nothing like floating down a lazy river enjoying nature but there are some precautions that will not only make the trip safer but will also be more enjoyable.


It’s the law that you must wear a PFD9 or personal floatation device in a small craft. There are several models for all ages that are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

They are available from infant size (8-30lbs) all the way up to adults. You should make sure you get a properly fitting PFD that is sized correctly for your child, and that has support for the neck of infants.

Most child PFD comes with safety straps that must be secured properly. They all come with instructions.


Another important factor to remember is that you will be out in the sun. Children need sunscreen. It’s very important to get a sunscreen with an SPF that is 30 to 100 for kids. There are several that are made just for kids. You might want to consider the more natural ones. You can get sunshades to protect the kids from the sun, also.

The cool breeze feels awesome when you are on the water, but for sensitive skin of younger children, it can give them a windburn so, it’s important to protect their skin from the wind.

There are several products to protect them from the wind that also has SPF protection.


There are lots of things to consider before you go kayaking, one of the most important is the model itself. Should you go for a sit on the top model or craft with a toddler seat?

Tandem kayaks are great for kids to get out on the water with you. Several models come with child seating. You can fit two adults and one child in some.

Duffing, riding in the center of the boat’s compartment, is a great way for little ones to start. Before you know it, they will get the feel of kayaking., just start slow. Don’t overwhelm them and you will have a great time.


It is important that you never take a child kayaking unless you are an experienced kayaker yourself.

You might want to take some classes for kayaking.

Something that is a really good idea when you have small children is to take safety and lifesaving courses, especially when you take them on the water. Swimming lessons for any non-swimmers are important also.


Food and water are next in making an enjoyable trip. Whether you stop and have a long picnic on a lazy river or a quick stop for a snack at the dock on the lake, kids like it simple.

The food should not be the new experience of the day.

Take their regular snacks and picnic foods you always take.

Don’t forget to make sure your child drinks plenty of water while you are doing any outdoor activities, and especially on family camping trips.


You have just found the best kayak for your family. You have taken the lessons and safety courses that you need. You have gotten everyone life jackets. Now, where are you going to go kayaking?

Start small with children. If you want this to be a family adventure that you repeat a lot in the future, don’t overwhelm them.

Maybe try a small lake or bay. The thing with lakes or bays is that you can always go back to shore.

Short trips are the best way to go in the beginning. As times goes by your children will be ready for longer kayaking trips like on a river; a slow-moving river, with lots of stops.

Bathroom breaks come a lot more often with kids.

So, just remember to take it slow and be patient!


Children get really bored so when you do make a stop, so make it fun and have a snack or explore a little. Be safe and teach them safety. There are so many fun activities to give a child a renewed start. You can skip rocks in a river. You might watch minnows, frogs or crawdads. Children will usually find adventures on their own. They are so curious about nature. Shells are treasures to a child that they will cherish from your trip.


Something that makes any adventure more enjoyable with children is to start out the day with a special new something to take with them such as a small waterproof toy. Get a little toy water animal, something that floats so that it can’t sink, and clip it to something, so you don’t have to retrieve it when they drop it. It will keep them occupied when their attention span gives up on nature.


Now that you are all ready to go don’t forget your waterproof camera because this will be a day you won’t forget. Take lots of pictures. Family memories are priceless. When you include your child in something that you enjoy, it makes it even more enjoyable for you.


If your first trip doesn’t turn out as pleasant as you expected, chalk it up to a learning experience and learn from your trip. Do things differently next time. If you want to have those memories and you want to have an awesome relationship with your children, don’t give up.


kayak models for children

So now that you have decided to tackle kayaking with your children, the world awaits you.

Be adventuresome and enjoy your family trip.

Just remember to put safety first in all your adventures so that you can have much more happy adventures with your children.


Beta Dad

I'm the Beta Dad father to a 4-year-old and husband. I'm the blogger at BetaDadBlog.Com & I'm here distilling my thoughts and experiences as I navigate parenthood. Read more About Me here

Recent Content