Infant PFDs

PFDs, flares, signals, flotation bags, radios.

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acrosome

Infant PFDs

Post by acrosome »

My daughter is 8 months old, just starting to crawl well- and let me tell you, finding daycare in Kaiserslautern is a pain. I see no reason that I can't take her in the Long Haul MkII with my wife and I on a short picnic trip on some local lake on a nice day (though those will be ending shortly). But I would really want a PFD for her, because I'm paranoid like that. I found a couple of infant models, but I'm curious what you all think. Any thoughts either in general regarding 8 month olds in kayaks, or regarding specific PFD models are welcome.

One made by a Canadian company that look excellent, but isn't Canadian Coast Guard approved for an oddly bureaucratic reason- Canadian law does not require a boat to carry a PFD for persons weighing less than 20 pounds:
http://www.salusmarine.com/bijoux.html

The well-known Stearns type II infant PFD model:
http://www.stearnsinc.com/Recreation/NC ... ID=8620823

Christov_Tenn

Post by Christov_Tenn »

The Salusmarine video looked pretty convincing.

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chrstjrn
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Post by chrstjrn »

I don't have anything to add, but I think it's great that you did the research and put your results on here.

Thanks.
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

Hugh B

Post by Hugh B »

In addition try Mustang http://www.mustangsurvival.com/products ... php?mc=115

No experience with them.
Hugh

acrosome

Post by acrosome »

If you go to the USCG site and check their FAQ there's a question about infant PFDs. They list several manufacturers, but the only one on the list that I could find any info on was the Stearns. Thanks for the info on the Mustang vest- it looks similar to the Stearns, i.e. a rigorous Type II PFD.

bjorn240

Re: Infant PFDs

Post by bjorn240 »

Bump for an old thread, but someone else might find this useful... I've done a bit of research since I'm eager to take my little guy out on the water.

Norwegian TV tested life jackets in April.

The Helly Hansen "Kid Safe" was judged best, based on its ability to correctly orient 9 out of 9 test subjects (kids in a pool) and its high mouth-to-surface height. The Baltic Bambi SuperSoft was judged second best, with nearly identical scores.

The Helly Hansen website is probably the worst retailer website in the world, but you can get the vest at a number of European retailers.
Image
http://www.maritimo.at/maritimo/shop/pr ... s_id/39512

The Baltic Bambi Supersoft is a CE-approved (EN 395 - recreational lifejackets). Baltic jackets are from Sweden, and are readily available in Scandinavia and via UK mail order. I think the hi-viz color probably makes this one the one to have.
Image
http://www.baltic.se/product.asp?prod_id=21&lang=eng
http://www.crew-safe.co.uk/acatalog/BAMBI_CS02.WMV <--- See swimming babies

Norwegian company Regatta AS also makes the "Thermo Cruise Baby," a CE and SOLAS-approved life jacket that's donned just like a regular jacket, complete with full sleeves and a hood. Not tested in the TV program but definitely a suit for serious expedition babies... If dad is paddling a Klepper Quattro in the local pond, this'll fit right in!
Image
http://www.regatta.no/index.php?page_id=232

Most importantly, remember to always always use the crotch strap on child PFDs and to expel as much air from diapers as possible, in order to ensure a heads-up floating position.

Christov_Tenn

Re: Infant PFDs

Post by Christov_Tenn »

Thank you for the additional info. Our little seamonkey is four and a half months old, now, already the veteran of one camping trip, and I'm looking forward to taking him out for a spin in the single before too much longer.

mje
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Re: Infant PFDs

Post by mje »

And remember that babies have a very high surface area to body mass ratio- which means they will go hypothermic in minutes in water that might take hours for an adult. In other words, if it's not tropical water, be very, very cautious.
Michael Edelman
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chrstjrn
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Re: Infant PFDs

Post by chrstjrn »

Seven week old twins, here. Looks like I'd better get some PFDs before we leave Europe...
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

acrosome

Re: Infant PFDs

Post by acrosome »

Well, since this got bumped, but I only noticed now, I'll throw in that I eventually bought the Bijoux. It sems to work amazingly at righting the baby to a head-up position, as advertised. Granted, the only time my daughter has been in the water with it was at the local pool, because she's never been dumped out of the kayak, but there you have it.

I was never particularly worried about long exposures during expeditions, since I wasn't planning on taking her on any such trips, but nonetheless the gear geek in me cast an envious eye upon that "Thermo Cruise baby" vest. Wow. Anyway, I really just wanted a vest that would keep her face out of the water in a short-term dunking, and the Bijoux does so wonderfully. I'll second the caution about air in the diaper, though. I noticed this very quickly at the pool.

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