It's that time of year again. The season for boating is about to begin, and you need to pack more than your fishing poles and swimsuits. Whether you're just going for a smooth cruise around the lake or you're trailing water skiers behind your boat, it is essential that you bring a well-supplied first aid kit on board. To ensure you have a fun and safe summer on the water, use this boating first-aid checklist:
Water-resistant first aid kit As with any activity, you'll need items such as gauze, bandages, aspirin, antibiotic ointment and gloves in your boating first aid kit for minor emergencies. However, with the added element of being on the lake, you have to also protect those items from water damage - wet gauze won't serve much purpose when you're trying to stop a cut from bleeding. When selecting your first aid kit, opt for one that comes in a watertight or waterproof container.
"The sun can be especially blinding while boating."
Sunglasses Dark shades serve purposes beyond just making a fashion statement. Wearing sunglasses is important for boating safety, especially for the driver. During the hot summer months, the open water isn't so open. In fact, it can be packed with other boaters. Not only are there are more obstacles to avoid, but the sun can be especially blinding while boating because the rays reflect off the water. To avoid collisions, wear a pair of sunglasses whenever you get on the boat. They'll also help shield your eyes from splashing water so you can stay focused on safely steering.
Water-resistant flashlight When the water reflects the sunlight during the day, the lake becomes brilliantly bright. However, when night falls, the lake can get pitch black because there are no street lamps or porch lights to illuminate the area. If you get stuck on the lake after dusk, chances are that you'll need an alternative light source. Between life vests, ropes and water equipment, there are plenty of things to trip over while on board. A water-resistant flashlight will help you and your passengers maneuver safely through the boat and prevent serious injury. However, a flashlight will only get you so far. You should only boat at night if your vessel has the necessary lights to do so.
Stomach remedies Rocking waves and sharp turns can make some people feel queasy. Seasickness is a common ailment that plagues passengers, and it can result in anything from dizziness to vomiting. Boating Magazine advises boaters pack stomach remedies and anti-nausea medications to help combat this problem if it surfaces.
Sunscreen One of the best parts about a day on the lake is the warm summer sunshine, but it can also be the most dangerous. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause painful sunburn and heat rashes, and several summers of not protecting your skin at the beach may lead to skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. This will allow your skin to absorb it before being exposed to the sun. Additionally, bring sunscreen on board as part of your first aid kit so you can reapply it every two hours.
Make sure you check off each of these items before boarding your boat. This way, you'll ensure a fun and safe trip for everyone.