Children's Life Jackets - California

In California, children 12 years old and under are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket or life vest, Types I, II, III, or V, at all times when on a boat which is 26 feet or less.

Life vests and life jackets are to be in good condition and fit the child properly at all times. The only exception is when the child is in an enclosed cabin, or on a sailboat if restrained by a harness tethered to the boat.

The decision on whether a child wears a life jacket or vest is up to the parent; please be aware that the USCG and your boat insurance company will expect you to comply with the California state boating safety regulations.