By Mike Moses
DHAC Swim Instructor and Hydras Coach
With summer approaching, spending time in the water is a given. For families with younger children, this can be a very nerve-racking time, especially if the kids don’t know how to swim independently. So, what do most parents do? Use a flotation device.
This is a great idea, but sometimes a dangerous one. Some flotation devices can easily fall off, flip over, or simply not hold your child up.
Which ones should you avoid? Any devices that slip onto the arms, or rely on friction to stay on are the most unsafe. These can easily slip off, especially when wet. Additionally, most of these are inflatable. They can pop or deflate, making them even more dangerous.
Swim bubbles are another popular device used to assist in swimming. For a number of reasons, bubbles aren’t ideal for safe swimming. They are primarily buckled to the waist, and can easily slip off. Also, the bubble holds children up with their face down, in the water.
So how do you pick the right one? Simple. Look for the US Coast Guard (USCG) seal of approval on the device. Coast Guard flotation devices are non-inflatable devices that always hold your child in an upright position. These devices often have a few clips or zippers to secure them snugly to your kids.
The easiest way to avoid being unsafe in the water is to take swimming lessons. But, until your little swimmer is truly comfortable, these tips will help you & your family have a fun, safe summer in the water.