Make sure you're wearing a life jacket the correct way

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- There are several life jacket tips families should know before they head out out to the lake or beach for the Fourth of July weekend

Nine-year-old Mckenna said she used to get scared of the water, but not anymore.

"I like the water because I pretend I'm a mermaid when I swim in it," Mckenna said. "My parents make sure I am safe before I get in the water."

So does her grandma, Pat McMenamin, who is with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxilary. McMenamin teaches about life jacket and boat safety to the public and her 10 grandchildren.

"They have all been through the life jackets all these years. The youngest one is a year and a half, and she has her life jacket," McMenamin said.

She said there are a lot of things parents don't know when it comes to getting the right life jacket.

"Life jackets are done by weight classes so they think just because the child is within that weight size that any life jacket within that size will fit, but they are all made differently," McMenamin said.

McMenamin said a life jacket must be fastened properly and snug. Some parents assume if they have a life jacket, even an adult size, that the child can use it too, but that's not the case. The life jacket also shouldn't be able to go over a child's ears

"If I lifted it up she can come out of this life jacket," McMenamin said.

She said it's also important all children are wearing a life jacket on a boat, and adults have life jackets within reach, but in McMenamin's family they all have one on.

"It's not just the kids we wear ours too. We like to set an example for them so they know that they need to be wearing theirs," McMenamin said.