Its important to keep safe when you are near the water fishing and there are a few things you can do to keep your family and kids afe and have fun at the same time.
Keeping kids safe and happy is the most important priority when taking children fishing and there are a few easy things to do to ensure your trip is a success.
1. Be sun smart: Apply sunscreen before you go outside; wear suitable clothing, hats and sunglasses. It helps protect against UV rays but hats and glasses also act as a shield if a lure or hook goes near someone’s face or head.
2. Life jackets: When fishing off a jetty or around deep water with children who can’t swim, think about taking a life jacket. I always put a jacket on my middle boy when he was two to three-years-old as he was very energetic and just in case he might have jumped or fell in the water - although he never did.
3. Jetty: I always look for jetties with little boat traffic, a small drop into the water and if the jetties are long, I fish where there are ladders to climb out of the water. It is best to be prepared because if an accident happens, it doesn’t need to be a drama.
4. Location: Getting outdoors is good for the whole family so I look for places that are safe for kids. If the water looks risky, choose a more sheltered location. Fishing off rocks can be fruitful but this is not a place I take my children because it is just too dangerous.
5. Bright clothing: Be conscientious when you are fishing, particularly with young children. Try dressing them in bright colored clothing so you can see them easily.
6. Weather: Check the weather forecast and if it is unfavorable, then go another day and fish during daylight hours.
7. Keep line off fingers: Try to keep kids from wrapping fishing line around their fingers or hand. They don’t want to get into a habit of doing this as if they get a really big fish, then the line could cut their fingers.
8. Dangerous fish: If landing big fish or ones with teeth, ensure kids keep a safe distance. Be aware of poisonous species or ones with barbs such as flatheads which can sting if you touch them.
9. Crush barbs: This is quite easy to do, just push down the little barb under the sharp point of the hook with a pair if pliers. If you or a child accidently gets caught on a hook, it will be easy to remove and may save a traumatic visit to the doctor. It is also much better for the fish as it makes removing the hook easier and less stressful for them.
10. First aid: Take some basic first aid with you such as antiseptic cream and Band-Aids as invariably, there may be a few falls, bites or cuts that might need attention.