as one who freely admits to having been responsible for an accident involving a child (10yr old thrown from rib in flat water when an unexpected wake wave dislodged her) I'd like to give you her side ...
Talking to her afterwards she said "I didnt know what had happened. It took several seconds to figure out why I was wet, and I still dont really know how it happened"
Now she is a good swimmer, she has spent years on boats and is savvy, but she was disoriented. She had a BA on and this kept her relatively safe (if she had knocked her self out on the A frame as she nearly did - maybe a different story)
She is still happy to go round the harbour (6knt speed limit) with no BA on, it impeeds her ability to help with mooring lines etc, but she does not like to go where OTHER BOATS can be causing wake or where overfalls are likely to disrupt the smooth water without her BA. I believe this is a mature attitude.
Adults should take the same for young children, I believe it is better practise to encourage people in all fields to learn risk assessment and use COMMON SENSE, without having laws. - This is what has lead to the current situation - "If you are allowed to do it, it must be safe" rather than, "If you are allowed to do it, you should ASSESS whether it is safe"
When I clean the local lake of branches etc, and am on my own I'd put a rope around me even in 2 foot of water, because the RISK was much different to if there was someone else who could raise the alarm WHEN I slip in.
Relevance to the thread : Teach people to be responsible, make sure they are aware of the risks by telling them what has happened to others (like me and my daughter) but dont tell them what they must and must not do. They will never learn to think for themselves when a new situation arrives.
Rant over ...