Most of people across the world participate in various outdoor activities as a way of recreation and body rejuvenation. Among the many outdoor activities, recreational kayaking has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years due to its numerous benefits.
Adults, who love kayaking, can also introduce their children to kayaking while they are young. Kayaking is one of the best ways through which parents can create stronger bonds with their children.
Despite the numerous benefits of participating in recreation kayaking, skilled and unskilled kayakers are exposed to the inherent dangers of kayaking. Kayaking requires ample understanding of the basic techniques such as managing one’s weight in a kayak, paddling and kayak balance.
Apart from these basic techniques, kayakers must also posses self rescue techniques such as swimming and getting back into their kayaks in case the kayak capsizes. Kayakers can and must always expect occasional accidents especially in rough waters.
Children are more prone to injuries than adults because most of them lack the emotional and analytical capability to handle emergencies when they occur. When they panic, they can end up making fatal mistakes.
Most of the kayaking fatalities occur because paddlers do not have appropriate safety gear such as floatation devices. This is especially seen when people go kayaking on calm waters. Capsizing is just as likely to occur in calm waters as in rough waters. Many accidents occur in calm waters often because kayakers tend to take less caution in calm waters.
Kayaking accidents can also be caused by use of improper vessels and equipment. Recreation kayaks used should be of standard quality and suitable for use by people of all ages. Recreational kayaks should have a floatation capacity even after they fill up with water when they capsize. This is an industry requirement for all manufacturers.
A good recreation kayak for instance should be stable enough for use by both novice and skilled kayakers. It should also have enough space to store safety gear and other personal effect. In addition, if it is a tandem kayak, it should have enough space to accommodate at least two adults with some luggage.
Majority of kayak accidents are also caused by improper use of equipment especially the fishing equipment. Children should not be allowed to fish on their own from a kayak. Some fishing equipment such as some bait casting reels require skills which the children lack.
Children and unskilled kayakers should only be introduced to the basic fishing equipments. Advanced fishing equipment such as bait casting reels and some fishing rods require some skills and may therefore prove troublesome for children.
Other causes of kayak accident may include children leaning over to retrieve an item from water. They may also be involved in horseplay or try to change positions without regards to the kayaks balance.
Kayakers are exposed to dangerous elements of weather such as extreme cold and vicious winds. Individuals, especially children may consequently suffer from colds and hypothermia. It is therefore important to ensure that young children are efficiently dressed during kayaking expeditions.