With swimming pool season already here, it is time to think about the pool floats that your children may enjoy, find use in or that will help protect your children while playing in the water. There are many different types of pool floats available on the market today, ranging from inexpensive arm floaties to the more expensive boats and air mattresses. In this article, I will talk about some of the more popular children pool floats available.
Ring floats are better for older children to enjoy, those who already know how to swim. These pool floats are simple floats in the shape of a ring and should never be used as a life preserver. They are to play with and not for life-saving. These floats are not good for teaching a child to swim, as it is too easy for a child to slip out of the float and under the surface of the water. Ring floats are also pretty cheap, depending upon the size of the float. Small ring floats can cost as low as one dollar.
Arm floaties, also known as water wings, are very common to see being used at your local pool, lake or beach locations. These pool floats come in packs of two, one for each arm, and slip up your child’s arm to rest right between the shoulder and elbow. The are designed to help keep your child’s upper body floating above the water while they are learning to swim. Arm floaties are very inexpensive, averaging about one dollar per pair, and you can find them anywhere, ranging from your local dollar stores to Wal-mart to Toys R Us. When using these keep in mind that the more your child weighs the less likely that the arm floaties will be able to keep your child afloat in the water. Make sure that the arm floaties flit snuggly around your child’s arms so that they won’t slip off once they get wet, but not so snuggly that they are too tight and cut the circulation off to your child’s arms.
Baby Boat Floats
Baby boat floats are very useful for parents who have babies and small toddlers who can’t swim yet. There is a huge variety of baby boat floats available, with several different features. A simple baby boat float consists of two ring floats, one large and one small, with a seat between the two for the child to sit in. Some have toys attached to keep baby occupied, some have high seat backs for extra support and some even have built-in canopies to protect your child from the sun’s harmful rays. When buying a baby boat float always check the weight limits (to ensure that it will hold your child up), the leg holes (to make sure they won’t allow your child to slip through) and even check for product reviews to see if the general public found the product useful and safe. While baby boat floats are a great product to help a parent out while in the pool, they are not intended to replace the parent’s watchful eye. Never leave your child unattended, even in a baby boat float.
Trainer Ring/Suit Floats
These pool floats are useful when you have a child learning to swim. They consist of a ring float built into a swimsuit-type material or straps. Basically, you are using a ring float, but securing it to your child with a built-in swimsuit or straps so that your child does not slip out of the ring float. I have found that the ones with a built-in swimsuit feel more secure to the child than the ones with only straps. Always check the weight and height limits on these pool floats in order to assure that they will support your child appropriately. These pool floats are a step below the floatable swimsuits in the next paragraph.
Floatable swimsuits are like life jackets, only in a swimsuit form. Basically, the floatation swimsuits are one piece swimsuits with a foam inner layer to make sure that your child will float in the water. By using one of these swimsuits you won’t have to deal with extra pool floats, like arm floaties, ring floats or boat floats. These swimsuits are great for the child just learning to swim, or for your brave toddler who doesn’t think twice about jumping into the water even though they don’t have a clue how to swim. One downside about the floatable swimsuits is that they are very bulky. They have to be when they have built-in foam floats. Another downside is that they are very pricey, running around $30 and up, so you may want to make sure that your child will use it enough, or have other children to hand it down to, in order to justify paying that much for the suit.
These are only a few examples of the many different types of pool floats available to you. The floats discussed here seem to be the more popular floats that parents are buying for their children. You should never rely solely on a pool float to protect your children from drowning. A child should always be supervised by a parent, guardian or responsible adult when they are in or around any body of water. Drowning accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Be safe and enjoy the summer!