From 1 January 2025 lifejackets that meet older Australian Standards AS 1512, AS 1499 and AS 2260 will no longer be acceptable in South Australia.
All children should wear a lifejacket, when they are in any open area of a vessel. During an incident you may not have the opportunity to help children.
It should not be worn when a child is within a deck-house, cabin or secure enclosed space as it could stop them making a safe exit.
A lifejacket must be securely zipped and clipped at all times to be effective. If not appropriately fitted, a child may slip out of the lifejacket when in the water, or maybe forced into a dangerous face-down position when in the water.
Choosing a child's lifejacket
- If you’re not sure which lifejacket level your child needs, answer some quick questions to know before you go.
- Do not compromise on quality.
- It should be appropriate for your child's weight, fit them securely and not move around in any way that may impair its performance.
- A crotch strap fitting will prevent the jacket bunching up around the child's neck and will prevent your child falling out of the bottom.
- Choose a lifejacket level 100 or above that complies with the requirements for all waters and will support your child in a face-up position if in the water in calm water conditions.
- Children less than 12 years of age or who weigh less that 40 kg can now wear automatically inflatable lifejackets that are clearly labelled to inflate automatically (e.g. - after coming into contact with water). Although they inflate automatically they will also have a pull cord. These lifejackets must be serviced regularly in line with manufacturer’s instructions – generally once a year.
- Remember that a lifejacket level 50 or 50S may not roll your child into a face-up position in calm water conditions should they be unconscious.
- Match the weight range of the lifejacket with the weight of your child.
- Check that it complies with the appropriate standard for the type of lifejacket being used - see Adult lifejackets for more information.
It is extremely important that a lifejacket is fitted correctly, as per the examples provided below.
This lifejacket is the correct size
|The weight rating of 22-40 kg is appropriate for the child's weight of 24 kg, and the size appears to be proportionate to the child's body size.|
This lifejacket is too big
|If a child fell into the water they would probably fall straight through the bottom of this lifejacket.|
This lifejacket is too small
|The child's weight may exceed the weight rating and if the child fell into the water it may not keep them afloat.|
This lifejacket is too big
|Even if the child didn't fall through the large fittings, it may be too bulky to keep the child afloat face up and out of the water.|