ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The BoatU.S. Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Program For Kids added 45 new sites to its nationwide program, the organization said in a press release yesterday. The program allows parents to borrow a properly sized children's life jacket at launch ramps, marinas and waterfront businesses.
Since its inception nine years ago, the program has saved the lives of at least three children, BoatU.S. said. It estimates that the life jackets are loaned out more than 50,000 times a year. Every state now has at least one life jacket loaner location.
“Having life jackets for everyone aboard means having a life jacket that fits everyone,” said Chris Edmonston, director of boating safety for the BoatU.S. Foundation. “An oversized vest can easily slip off over a child's head, so that’s where we can help boaters with our Loaner Program. We make it easy by bringing children's life jackets right to the waterfront where boaters need them and they are absolutely free. Once the family is done enjoying the water, they simply return the jacket.”
The Foundation provides each new loaner site with a “kit” of 12 life jackets (a selection of infant, child, and youth jacket sizes), a protective storage bin, sign-out sheets and program signage.
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