By: Kendall Seddon
Children are naturally curious, and it tends to get the best of them. That’s what worries us as parents. However, there are ways in which we can indulge their curiosities while keeping them in a safe and protected environment. Since children love the water and are fascinated by the creatures that swim in them, fishing is a great way to satisfy their inquisitiveness. When taught properly, it can become a fun and safe activity for you and your child to enjoy. Here are some tips to creating a safe atmosphere while still having fun fishing.
Water Safety: Children should always wear a life jacket, regardless of whether they are on the shore, the dock, or in a boat. Make sure it fits accordingly and is comfortable for them to move around in. Otherwise, they will be tempted to take it off. Swimming lessons are also great if you know your child will want to jump or wade out into the water.
Safe Hooking and Baiting: Hooks are extremely dangerous for children and adults. It might be best to hook the bait for your child, depending on his or her age. If you think they can handle baiting their own hook, it is best to start out with a barbless hook and bread as bait. The bread will help children learn to bait their hook properly without the fear of touching a gross worm or cricket and the barbless hook will avoid the risk of getting a hook stuck in your child’s skin. Once you believe they are safe and ready, you can switch to worms which are slow-moving and easier to hook than other live baits.
Practice Makes Perfect: Practice makes perfect, so make sure your little one practices casting. You can get practice casting plugs which don’t have hooks and can be practiced in your own backyard. Perfecting the cast will prevent children from dangerously swinging the rod around, and accidentally hooking it into himself or the people around him.
Attention and Alertness: Keep your fishing trips short. Kids, as you know, have a short attention span and the longer they are out fishing, the more likely they will lose patience and forget safety rules. Keeping your trips to a minimum will keep them engaged and safe.
Following these guidelines will help you and your child stay safe while indulging in one of mankind’s oldest pastimes. You will be able to put your worrying mind at ease, and your children will have the time of their life. Fishing teaches all sorts of life lessons, and it is great to start them out young and safe.