BOAT SMART FROM THE START. WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET
New Life Jacket Law for Children
Becomes Effective April 1, 2006
On April 1, 2006 a new Maryland law governing personal flotation devices
(PFDs) for children goes into effect. Under the new law, if a child is
less than 4 years of age or weighs under 50 pounds, the child must wear
a PFD with specific additional safety features including: a strap that
is secured between the child’s legs to fasten together the front and
back of the PFD; an inflatable headrest or high collar to keep the
child’s head above water; and a web handle to ensure the ready
accessibility of the child from the vessel.
Effective June 1, 2001, all children
under the age of 7 must WEAR a United States Coast Guard approved
Personal Flotation Device (Life Jacket - Type I, II, III or V) while
underway on a recreational vessel under 21 feet in length on Maryland
waters. Recreational vessel includes motorboats, sailboats, canoes,
kayaks, rowboats, and any other device capable of being used for
transportation on the water, when the vessel is being used for other
than commercial purposes.
The Life Jacket must be the proper size for the child and must be in
good and serviceable condition.
This requirement does not apply when:
- A vessel is moored or anchored.
- A child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin.