Kayak Guidance logo

Is it Safe for Children

To Kayak? Should Kids Go Kayaking?

Published August 11, 2022

Many people feel that kayaking is dangerous and that they should not let their children go. However, there are other people who say it doesn’t matter how old your child is; he or she must be safe before going out on the water. My opinion lies somewhere between the two extremes. So, let’s know if it is safe for children to kayak. Should kids go kayaking?

It’s great to get young children out on the water. The experience of being in a kayak and watching the world go by is a wonderful way to teach them about the world around them and how to interact with their environment. But, it’s important that you have an experienced paddler with you when your kids are out in the water.

Let’s discuss these questions in detail and get to know whether you can take your children on a kayaking trip or not. Or is it safe for kids to go kayaking?

Is It Safe For Children To Kayak? Summary

Is It Safe for Children to Kayak?

It is safe for children to kayak only if you are an experienced kayaker and can take care of them while also controlling the kayak. Children below 7 aren’t going to be good kayak riders but can still ride a kayak with an experienced person. Similarly, children above 7 are intelligent enough to sit and relax on the kayak.

Children are not good at controlling their own balance while being on a kayak. They can’t steer well, and they often lose their balance. So while they may seem like they’re having fun, they’re just getting themselves into trouble.

That is why it is best for children below 7 years old to be accompanied by an adult when paddling around in a kayak. Children above this age can sit on the kayak and enjoy the ride without any help at all.

How to Kayak with Kids?

Now you know that you can take your children on a kayaking trip with you. But you must be wondering how to kayak with kids or what precautions you should take while kayaking with kids.

So, here are some pieces of advice that can help you safely kayak with your kids and family.

Properly Plan the Trip:

You should plan the trip that includes everything from leaving your home to where you will go first, who will be on the kayak, where you will be kayaking, etc. You should be aware of the water conditions, weather forecasts, and road conditions. If you are thinking of taking your kids with you on a long trip, then it’s better to plan everything before.

Similarly, if you are planning a day trip, you should plan it in advance, so you don’t have to rush. You should also decide whether or not there will be someone with you who can help if needed.

Pick the Right Kayak:

BKC PK14 Tandem Kayak with Trolling Motor

Choosing the right kayak for your needs is very important. You should not forget that you will be out on a water with your kids, and if something goes wrong, it will be very difficult for someone else to help you. So, always choose the best one that suits your requirements.

For example, if you plan to go on a calm water with one kid, then you should choose a sit inside a kayak with a flat bottom. Similarly, if you have never kayaked, it’s better to start with a sit-on-top kayak. This type of kayak is very easy to use and comfortable as well. Later on, if you want to try other types of kayaks, then plenty of options are available.

So, you should always pick a kayak suitable for the water conditions, your height and weight, as well as the number of people on it. If you are going with your kids, it’s better to take an inflatable kayak than a hard one because they are lightweight and easy to carry around.

Plenty of different options are available for you, including sit-on-top kayaks and sit-in kayaks. The former is a better option if you consider going on long trips because it has more storage space and can hold up to four people. But if you are going with two or more kids, you should choose another.

Pack Essentials:

how many kayaks can you fit on a SUV

You will need to pack your essentials before you leave. Make sure you have a life jacket or flotation device with you when you are on the water. You should also pack sunscreen, sunglasses, bug spray, and other protection against insects.

Remember that you will be paddling all day long; hence, you should pack all the things you need during the trip. Make sure to carry snacks and water bottles with you because it’s quite hard to find food on the way.

Make a Plan B for Emergency Situations:

You should always make a plan B for everything. If something goes wrong, you have to be ready for it. You should pack extra clothing in case of rain or cold weather. Also, bring with you some extra food and water just in case you run out of supplies on your trip.

You will never know what will happen on the water, so it’s important to always have a plan B. In case of emergency situations such as injury or illness, you should have someone who can take care of the boat while you go to get help.

Inform someone about your Plan:

You should always inform someone about your plan. It’s important to tell people where you are going and when you expect to return. You should also let them know what kind of equipment you are taking with you so that they can help in an emergency.

If something bad happens on your trip, this will be helpful for rescue teams to find you quickly because they know where to look for you. Similarly, if you get lost or injured, they will be able to help you find your way back home. Also, they will know where to find you if something bad happens during the trip.

Enjoy Your Time on Water:

Before you go on your trip, make sure that you enjoy yourself. If you are worried about something, take some time to relax and unwind before going out on the water. This will help reduce stress levels and make for a better experience overall.

It’s also important to enjoy your time on the water and be safe at the same time. Be aware of your surroundings, take precautions and ensure that you have enough supplies with you if something goes wrong.

Besides, check that your equipment is working properly before you go out and enjoy yourself.

Should Kids Go Kayaking Alone?

It is true that kids can be adventurous and fun, but they also have their limits. Some activities are simply too risky for children to attempt alone, and one of them is kayaking. So, you shouldn’t allow your kids to go kayaking alone. There are some good reasons why you shouldn’t let your kids go kayaking alone.

First of all, it could be dangerous for them. Kayaking is a very difficult activity for children as young as six months old and older than ten years old. Kids have no idea how to use their body weight properly when they’re on the water and could easily get hurt if they fall into the water or fall off the boat into shallow waters where there are rocks in them.

Secondly, it can be dangerous for those who watch them while out on the water because they might not be able to see where they are going and may end up getting into trouble with other boats or even water.

So, it’s not safe to let your child go alone kayaking.

Where to Kayak with Kids?

Weedon Island Preserve, Florida

Choose calm and easy water to go kayaking with your kids because they will be able to learn how to paddle and steer without any problems. Water that is calm enough for kayaking with kids should be at least 4 feet deep and have no large boats or waves coming in.

Those waters are more likely to capsize if there is a strong current. River kayaking is usually safer than ocean kayaking because you have a chance of getting back onto shore even if your boat capsizes.

You can find many places that are safe for kayaking with children. Just make sure you go on a calm day with an experienced kayaker, so you know what to do if something happens.


Kayaking is a safe and great way to get out on the water with your kids and enjoy nature. However, you need to know a lot of information before you take your kids out for a paddle.

You should wear a life jacket and try to stay away from fast-moving waters that could capsize your boat. If you have children who are too young to sit up on their own, it’s best to stay in calm water and follow all the precautions mentioned above.

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you. 

More to Learn About Kayaks!