Spending time fishing is wonderful family sport, but in order for it to be enjoyable it should be safe and comfortable especially for small children. Fishing isn’t a dangerous sport, but as with any activity, especially activities held in the ever-changing outdoors conditions do change. Unexpected bad weather, too much time in the sun, or encounter biting insects are a few factors that can spoil a fishing trip. Safety comes first. All the checklists in the world can’t anticipate all of the safety problems you or your young anglers might encounter on a fishing trip. So the best advice is think safety at all times. Look for trouble before it finds you. If it finds you anyway, know how to deal with it.
- First Aid Kit
- Chap Stick
- Suntan Lotion
- Sunburn Crème
- Insect Repellent
- Insect Bite Treatment
- Small Inexpensive Binoculars
- Packable Rain Gear or Ponchos
- Disposable Waterproof Camera
- Aspirin or any Required Medications
Keep these important guidelines and tips in mind for a safe fishing experience.
Fishing with small children. Whenever around water shoreline/dock or in a boat children should always wear a properly fitted Coast Guard approved (PFD) personal flotation device. Young anglers need constant adult supervision and guidance, establish a few rules; No running. Before each cast check for people behind and other obstructions. Have patience with small children they have a tendency to be impatient, reward them by allowing to keep a few small small fish in a bucket while fishing keeping their attention.
New anglers. Should always learn how to cast overhead first. This cast teaches the proper technique and is safer than side casts.
Athletic Shoes. Shoes should always be worn, fishing from shore, off a dock or in a boat. Sharp rocks, glass, stray hooks and other objects on the shoreline could cut your feet. On a boat or dock shoes are designed to keep your feet from slipping in a wet boat or off a dock preventing you from taking an unexpected fall into the water.
Prevent Sunburn. Always wear sunscreen, the ultraviolet (UV) light of the sun can do a lot of damage to skin, eyes and lips. Apply sunscreen on youngsters cover face, neck, ears and all other exposed skin with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher.
Wear a billed cap. Hats keep the sun out of your eyes while fishing. They also keep your head cool in the summer and warm in the winter as well as protecting your head from stray cast with hooks.
Sunglasses. Everyone should wear glasses or sunglasses (preferably polarized) Polarized sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays reflecting off the water, protect your eyes from errant casts with hooks and allows you to view below the surface of the water to see fish and other objects.
Bring Cold Drinks
During the summer temperatures can get very warm, to avoid dehydration or even heat stroke bring lots of cool water and other healthy drinks, Make sure the youngsters drink plenty of fluids. Liquids are also very important during the fall and winter months.
Keep the pests off by applying insect repellent. Mosquitoes, ticks, bees and other insects not only sting, they can carry diseases. Follow the directions on the container. If your insect repellent contains “Deet,” it may be better to apply it to the clothing instead of the skin.
Bring Appropriate Clothing
Always dress for the weather and be prepared for unexpected changes. As an example it might be 75 degrees on shore but 10 degrees cooler on the lake with wind. Bring along a sweat shirt or a wind breaker just in case.
The listed guidelines below are to recognize and treat some outdoor hazards you may come across this season on the water. Note: The information provided herein should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical matters.
On the Water Safety
Drowning is second only to auto mishaps as the leading cause of death for teens.
- Life jackets not worn.
- Swimming in lakes or rivers is a LOT harder than swimming in a pool.
- Water is cold enough to cool the person so fast that they can’t swim (Hypothermia).
- Swimmer’s strength is overpowered by the current or other factors
Water Safety Precautions
- Never use alcohol or drugs while you’re swimming, diving, or in a boat.
- Wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device when you boat, raft, go tubing, or swim across the lake.
- When buying a life jacket or vest, select one that is comfortable, won’t slip, and offers good freedom of movement.
- Learn CPR and lifesaving, and take refresher courses.
- Do not chew gum or eat while in the water, to prevent choking.
Your diving into a lake or river to save potential-drowning victims is NOT recommended.
What to Do
Shout for help. When another person arrives, ask them to phone 911 and then come straight back.
Look around you for something to help the victim. This might be an empty ice chest, a pole, rope, tree limb, soccer ball, or even your spare tire! If a rope tie one end around a tree or post and throw the other end to the victim. Then, crouch down to maintain your balance and pull the victim to safety.
Even professional rescuers virtually NEVER attempt a water rescue without equipment. They bring a rescue tube, rescue board or other buoyant device to the victim.
Lightning can create a sense of awe, excitement, and danger all in one. Most lightning strikes occur between noon and 6 p.m. in the summer.
Get an update weather forecast before you go. Develop a plan for emergency shelter If you hear thunder, you are at risk! Go to safe shelter immediately!
Learn CPR and keep your skills current through refresher training. Your CPR may save the life of someone struck by lightning and in cardiac arrest!
Any projection above the flat surface of the water acts as a potential lighting rod. Do not become a lightning rod!
Don’t be a Target
Try to STAY OFF, and definitely GET OFF the water before a thunderstorm hits. If you are caught in open water during a thunderstorm, stay in the center of the cabin or low in the boat. Disconnect and do not use or touch the boat’s major electronic equipment.
Stop fishing at the first sign of a storm, and get off the lake
Get out of the water and seek shelter at the first sigh of a storm.
If caught outdoors and no shelter is available, find a low spot away from trees, fences, power lines, and poles. Squat low to the ground, making yourself the smallest target possible. Minimize contact with the ground. DO NOT lie down! If you are in the woods, take shelter under the lower trees!
Expected Survival Time in Cold Water
|Water Temperature||Exhaustion or Unconsciousness||Expected Survival Time|
|3-12 hours||3 hours – indefinitely|
|2-7 hours||2-40 hours|
|1-2 hours||1-6 hours|
|30-60 minutes||1-3 hours|
|15-30 minutes||30-90 minutes|
|Under 15 minutes||Under 15-45 minutes|
Over the years the risk of developing malignant skin cancer has increased by 800%, to the extent that it is now considered to be at epidemic levels. And, 90% of the skin cancers are sun related.
Here is some skin protection guidelines to follow:
Sunscreen is a must! Choose one with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30. This number means that you are protected at least 30 times longer than you are without the sunscreen.
Apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going out.
- Be sure that your sunscreen protects against both UVA & UVB rays, and re-apply about every 2 hours.
- Don’t neglect your sunscreen on a cloudy day. Clouds filter only about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
- Sunblock products containing titanium may offer additional protection and should be applied to your sensitive lips and noise.
- If you are fishing on a day when the sun is strong, try to limit the amount of bare skin that is exposed. Also a hat should be worn.
- No sunscreen will protect you completely form the damaging rays of the sun. So, try to minimize outdoor exposures between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
It is never to late to benefit from protecting your skin from sunburn. Try to avoid additional intense sun exposure to allow your skin to repair some of the damage on its own.
If you should bet sunburned.
- Take a cool bath or apply wet cloths to the sunburned area.
- Apply aloe gels or first aid sunburn sprays as needed.
- Try to limit additional sun exposure by staying cool indoors, or in the shade outdoors while your sunburn heals.
Eye Protection from Glare (Polarized Sunglasses)
During direct exposure to the sun, ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the unprotected eye. These UV rays are simply invisible light waves that carry more energy than the visible light. People who spend lots of time outdoors without eye protection, especially near the water, will probably experience headaches, eye fatigue, and eventually, cataracts. Brightness and radiation are virtually doubled with reflected sunrays from the water surface! UV radiation has also been linked to a condition called photokeratitis – temporary but painful sunburn of the eye’s surface. With this condition, which may not show effect for 12 – 24 hours, the person awakens in the middle of the night with searing eye pain and a feeling of sand or grit in the eyes.
Wear Your Sunglasses
Any polycarbonate sunglass lens can be expected to provide complete UV protection as well as excellent impact resistance. Also, a voluntary standard, ANSI Z80.3 has been adopted by some manufactures; and their conformance is referenced on some sunglass labels.
Guidelines for Purchasing Sunglasses
Ensure that lenses:
- Block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays
- Screen out 75-90% of visible light
- Are polarized to minimize reflected glare from snow/water
- Match perfectly in color and adsorption
- Have Zylonite (ophthalmic grade plastic) frames
- Are free from optical distortion and lens flaws
- Are dark enough so that you can’t see your eyes easily when looking in a mirror with the sunglasses on
- Preferably are gray. (They do not modify colors)
- Carry the American Optometry Association seal of acceptance
Prevention is the best defense against flying or crawling critters that can bite or sting. When your warm weather activities take you outdoors to hike, camp, fish, picnic, or just mow the lawn, you need to be aware of the insect problems that you may encounter.
Experts recommend that you:
Use a quality insect repellent and reapply every 2 -3 hours If your outdoor activities take you to a field or forest, wear light color long pants and long-sleeve shirts. Wear a hat, and working gloves if appropriate
These pests live near where water collects, and bay be more prevalent during the late afternoon and evening hours during calm weather. Staying indoors during these times may keep you from getting bit. If you do, scratching may make maters worse. Instead, treat bites with an anti-itch lotion.
Avoid bee problems by not wearing bright colored clothes or floral cosmetics, and by covering any sweet drinks. If a bee should land on you or your food, either blow or gently brush the bee away. If you are stung, tweezers are useful for removing the stinger. Otherwise, you can probably scrape the stinger off with a credit card or even your fingernail.
Although the vast majority of spiders that you will encounter are not harmful, caution and common sense must still be used. Keep any spiders that you see at a safe distance, and wear heavy-duty gloves when working with piles of brush or wood where spiders like to hide.