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Mandatory life jackets rule saves lives

Mandatory life jackets rule saves lives

Source: Reuters

Drowning deaths among boaters in Victoria, Australia, fell from almost 60 in the years before a law required everyone to wear a “personal flotation device” to 16 afterwards, according to a new study. Educational campaigns encouraging life-jacket use may not be enough to get all boaters to wear the vests at all times, but making it mandatory does make a difference, the study team writes in the journal Injury Prevention. “Why are life jackets important? Because people don’t float,” Dr. Linda Quan told Reuters Health. Quan, an emergency pediatrician at Seattle Children’s, was not involved in the study but has examined how changes to the law in Washington state improved life-jacket use. Washington law requires life jackets to be worn by water skiers and others being towed and by boaters on personal watercraft, or jet skis, as well as by children 12 and under in small vessels.

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