Our parents ask us many different questions about swimming and water safety, so for the next few weeks we’re going to use the blog to answer some of them.
This week’s parent question is: “What are the recommended floatation devices when children are swimming unaided by parents?”
There are a variety of floatation devices on the market today, and each work in a different way. They are designed to keep children afloat so they can become confident in the water while they are exploring. It is important to note that flotation aids are not safety devices, and they are not designed to prevent drowning. While they can help children to float, they can’t help them to breathe. Children must be supervised at all times when they are around the water. This means that children must be within an arms length of a competent supervisor.
Children can drown if flotation aids are faulty, used incorrectly, or do not fit properly. Children who are inexperienced, or who may be scared or overconfident around water can unexpectedly get into trouble and panic. This can happen very quickly and quietly. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use. Before use, make sure that you check your flotation aids for holes, tears and leaks. If any of these are present, do not use them. Always follow the warnings and instructions for assembly and use.
The different types of flotation devices include vests, armbands, rings or seats. When choosing swimming and flotation aids for your child follow the manufacturer’s age and weight recommendations. Choose a design, size and fit that suits the development of your child. For example, flotation aids designed for younger children may not be suitable if your child is above average height and size for their age group, and vice versa. You can purchase some of these devices from our swim shop.
“Floaty Free Time”
If you choose to use these floatation devices, it is important to have some “Floaty Free Time”. Floaties can give your child a false sense of security that makes them overconfident. Or they can become scared of swimming without floaties, which can hinder their progress in swimming lessons. Set aside some time when you use floaties as “Floaty Free Time”, and let them explore and experience the water within your reach.
If you have a question you would like answered, feel free to get in touch with us via our Facebook page or email. You can also ask one of our friendly staff members for advice. For more articles like this one, pop on over to our News and Facebook pages.