Any parent that spends time with their children around water knows how important it is that their children learn to swim. However, when those children are very young, they may not be able to learn.
Using swimming aids and safety measures to protect young children may safeguard them, but are they as helpful as they are thought to be?
Babies can actually learn to swim if taught to do so. However, you may not know how to teach them or may not have baby swimming classes available to you. You may feel that the best way to protect your child is to use swimming aids.
There are several types of swimming aids but they don’t all provide the same level of confidence for keeping young children safe.
The following are some types you may think of:
- Inflatable animals – An inflatable animal may be good for having fun in the pool if you already know how to swim, but they are not advisable to keep non-swimming children safe. The inflatable animals will keep children afloat as long as they are strong enough to hold on; should they let go, drowning is a possibility if no one is watching closely.
- Arm bands – Inflatable arm bands are a better option for children that cannot swim. However, they still don’t provide enough protection. These are good for children that are learning to swim but haven’t quite gotten the hang of it yet.
- Floating swimsuits – Floating swimsuits come in a variety of styles. They can be as simple as a swimsuit with an inflatable ring to something more elaborate like a swimsuit with life vest material in them. If you choose to have your child swimming with you in deeper water, the latter floating swimsuit would be a better choice.
- Life vests – Life vests are probably the best choice if you have your children around water. Not only will they keep your child afloat, they are designed to keep your child on its back to avoid drowning. Life vests truly can save a child’s life if used whenever a child is near the water.
Pros of Using Swimming Aids
If used properly, and consistently, some of the swimming aids can save your child’s life. They are readily available through most discount stores; however, you may want to buy actual life vests at sporting goods stores to ensure you’re getting the best quality.
Cons of Using Swimming Aids
Swimming aids can give you a false sense of security where your small, non-swimming children and water are concerned. You may not think you have to watch them as closely if they have on a swimming aid, but the truth is supervision is important whether your child can swim or not and whether they are wearing a swimming aid or not.
Flotation devices such as animals, arm bands, and some floating swimsuits are not life preservers and it is best not to think of them as such.
Swimming aids and safety may seem to go hand-in-hand, but that isn’t always the case. While they may keep your child safer than not using one, nothing can beat having supervision whenever your child is near the water. Summertime fun in the sun and in the water is right around the corner. Are you prepared?