Flotation Devices for Kids

flotation deviceNow that summer is nearly here, it seems that all kids want to do is to get in the water.  For older kids, it’s a great way for mom to have a break.  But for younger kids, pool time means a lot of work and/or stress for Mom.  A good flotation device can help kids have more fun and help Mom relax as the little ones enter the water. Flotation devices for children come in many different sizes, shapes and styles. Here are a few of the most common:

Inner tubes – These are some of the most basic floatation devices.  You can find tubes that look like anything from a basic tube to animals or airplanes.  Some even have shade canopies and cup holders! For youngsters it’s best to have a tube with a bottom and two holes for the legs.  Make sure that it’s the right size so that the child does not slip through.

Armbands – These are pretty easy to use flotation devices.  The tubes are simply slipped over the bicep, or upper arm and then inflated.  They can help with swimming for children who have some swimming experience.  Armbands should not be placed on very young kids or inexperienced children since they could easily slip off and do not give a lot of buoyancy.  Armbands are designed as training aids or to add just a bit of floatation for the child.

Puddle jumpers – This is similar to the armband, but it is attached to a chest piece and has a strap that goes behind the back.  This allows a bit more security and protection, but it still gives the child free range of motion and helps them when learning to swim.

Floating swim suits – The most basic floating swim suits have an inner tube at the waist and chest.  When inflated they can be bulky and cumbersome.  Higher quality suits have floatation pads or materials over the entire suit and can be very comfortable and non-restrictive for the child.

Life vests – These are the traditional jackets or vests that are typically worn in a lake when skiing.  When sized correctly, they are great for people of all sizes, from children to adults.

Kick boards – Typically used more in swimming training, these are small boards that children hold on to or put under their chest when they are practicing their kicking skills.

Floating animals/balls – These can be just about anything that floats, including  inflatable toys, animals, trees, beach balls, footballs, basketballs, or just about anything else you can find.  These should not be used by children that cannot swim since you have to hang on to them to float.  These items should be viewed as toys or items to use when relaxing in the water or taking a break.

Please remember, that no matter how good the flotation device is, it will never take the place of a responsible and aware parent.  Even with the best products available, accidents can and do happen.  Keep a close eye on all children at all times!

 

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