Want your child to swim like a fish and embrace the water? Step One: Ditch the water wings.
6 Reasons to Ditch the Wings:
- They can easily pop, deflate and/or slide off (sun lotion) – leaving your child at risk of drowning.
- Toddlers are able to pull them off within seconds, often without being noticed immediately.
- They offer a false sense of security. Adopt the sink or swim approach. Kids should never falsely think they are “swimming” when they’re not.
- They hinder learning how to swim. Water wings keep the child vertical (ideally). However, this is completely unnatural and makes learning to float extra tricky. *Floating and swimming are horizontal positions.
- They make maneuvering hard because of their positioning (high arm). It’s super hard for a child to roll back over if they end up in a facedown position.
- Nothing replaces swim lessons and the proper instruction. Get your child enrolled in a certified program today.
What Else You Can Do?
- Practice Touch Supervision in the Pool
- Practice Being Underwater – really important that they learn to get their face wet. A good trick is to put a toy on a step and have them retrieve it.
- Wear a Certified (well fitted) Life Jacket.
Most important – Put your babes in a swim program ASAP.
My guys went to a course through Baby Otter (Florida) called: Turn, Kick, Reach. It’s a 5-day program that teaches children from 9 months plus, how to save themselves if they fall into a pool. I cannot recommend it enough.
A company called Puddle Jumper puts out a really cute alternative to a standard life jacket. The product is U.S. Coast Guard approved.
Note – this product still keeps them in a vertical position and hinders the swimming process but at least it’s safe.
If throwing a kids pool party, neighborhood BBQ, etc. Basically, in any event, where there are loads of distractions and water involved – Consider hiring a lifeguard.
I raised three boys on a Caribbean Island. Our house backed onto a pool and behind the pool lay the Atlantic Ocean. In summers, the boys spend much of their time on a Canadian lake. We’re also avid boaters. Water is a huge part of our lives and so learning to swim was paramount from the time they could crawl.
I was also a lifeguard long before having kids. It was back then that I realized the danger of water wings.
Parents – please ditch the water wings and have a safe happy summer.