As the weather starts warming up, there is nothing better than getting out on the water. If your parents or a friend's parents have a boat, you can plan lots of adventures on the water. Maybe you can go tubing, or water skiing, or wake-boarding, or just simply swim and float. No matter what your plans are, you always need to be prepared and know all about boating safety before you head out.
The single most important rule for boating is to always wear a life jacket. Even if you are a good swimmer, even if you know how to tread water, you still need to always wear a life jacket when boating. Wearing your life jacket can save your life, so remember to wear yours and encourage everyone else to wear theirs.
You also need to be accompanied by a responsible adult when you are boating. If you are underage, you are not ready to operate a boat without a capable and responsible adult. Boating is a lot of fun, but it is only safe if you are boating with someone who has plenty of experience and understands boating safety.
All bodies of water have currents. The water flows in certain directions, and sometimes these currents can be severe and unexpected. Pay attention to the currents and water movement in your area and you'll learn a lot about why boats move the way they do.
Also, just like with roads, there are laws to boating. Some states require that people on boats wear life jackets, especially children. There are some areas of the water that are reserved for commercial boating.
You should also bring water and sunscreen. Most water where people boat is undrinkable, so bring plenty of drinking water. It is also important to bring waterproof sunscreen. Most boats don't have shade or shelter and if you are out in the sun all day, you run the risk of getting badly sunburned. A hat is also a smart idea.