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Kids and life jackets

Children 14 years and younger are required to wear life jackets in many circumstances.

BOISE — Officials from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation remind parents about Idaho’s life jacket law for kids — children 14 years and younger are required to wear a life jacket on all vessels 19 feet or shorter when the vessel is underway.

Idaho’s life jacket law applies to all vessels including those with a motor and all paddle craft such as rafts, canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, rowboats and drift boats. Life jackets must be Coast Guard approved and properly fitted.

Kids without a life jacket may be in immediate danger if they fall in the water because of the year-round cold-water conditions prevalent in many of Idaho’s rivers and lakes. Adult operators of a vessel who do not comply with the kids’ life jacket law are subject to a $99 citation.

Parks and Rec. strongly encourages all kids and adults to wear a life jacket while boating on any size vessel.

For more information on how to properly fit a life jacket for a child or to get a listing of legally required safety information for your vessel, go to boatidaho.gov.

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