In many ways, fishing is a perfect activity to enjoy with your young children. It gives you the opportunity to go outside and breathe fresh air. It helps kids appreciate nature and the great outdoors. It’s fun, yet relaxing, and it provides you with quality time to bond with your kids. However, fishing also involves sharp hooks – not exactly ideal for your wide-eyed children. To ensure that your kids don’t hurt themselves (or others) during your angling expedition, review fishing hook safety with them beforehand and follow the tips below.
Fishing Hook Safety
Store Away Hooks
All of your tackle should be stored away when not in use – fishing line, pliers, scissors, bobbers, lures, sinkers, and (of course) hooks. You can purchase a tackle box for this purpose, but many other secure containers will work as well. Tell your children that they cannot access the container without your permission. Finally, remember to keep it organized so that you don’t accidentally prick yourself when reaching for a bobber or fishing line.
Show Your Child Hooks and Lures
Your kids likely know that hooks are sharp, but show them the two sharp spots (the point and the barb) and explain why those spots are dangerous. More importantly, if you have any lures with hidden hooks, partially hidden hooks, or multiple hooks, show them this equipment. Explain that even though lures look bright, soft, and fun, they aren’t toys and they can be harmful if they aren’t handled properly. For added fishing hook safety, consider de-barbing traditional hooks by clamping them flush with pliers.
Wait for the Right Time
Your children shouldn’t be baiting hooks, removing hooks, or even casting when they’re still toddlers (unless you’re using plastic hooks). Wait until you can trust your child with the equipment and the sport before you grant them those responsibilities.
Teach Proper Handling
When your children are old enough to use hooks on their own, teach them how to handle the equipment properly. For example, discuss where one ought to grasp a hook, how to attach a hook to fishing line, and how to remove a hook from a fish’s mouth. Emphasize the importance of careful casting, because this is when kids often accidentally hit someone else. Be sure that your children know to stand far away from other people when casting. Teach them to be aware of their surroundings and to always look around themselves before casting. Finally, be sure to choose a fishing spot that will give you both some room to stretch.
Bring a First-Aid Kit
Accidents happen. Even if you store your tackle properly, teach your children how to handle hooks, and buy the perfect equipment, someone may get hurt. Bring a first-aid kit that includes antibiotic ointment, band-aids, a pain reliever, a flashlight, and more, just in case someone gets hurt.
Select Age-Appropriate Equipment
When your child is still a toddler, consider avoiding sharp metal hooks altogether. Instead, select plastic hooks to avoid any accidental injuries. Do yourself a favor and check out Kid Casters. Our unique, innovative, and (most importantly) safe fishing products are the perfect way to introduce your child to the sport of fishing. You might be interested in our full fishing rod kits, which include a youth fishing rod, a practice casting plug, (patent pending) sponge fish training lures, and a safe plastic hook.
Plus, many of our products feature popular children’s characters like Dora and Friends, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You can find our produ cts at popular retailers like Bass Pro Shops, Wal-Mart, Cabela’s, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kmart, Toys ”R” Us, Sportsman’s Warehouse.