Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I hate float rings




I've seen too many children end upside down in the water and not be able to get up.

You know what I'm talking about, the blow up rings, like car tier tubes only smaller. Kids love them and parents think they look like great fun for the kids. But they also think that they are safe and therefore no supervision is required. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Kids have a great time with float rings and car tire inner tubes and truck tire inner tubes are even better. The bigger the tube the more fun. But far from being a safe form of aquatic entertainment you have to watch them much more than any other kind of flotation device.

There is a failure to recognize that the biggest part of the fun is their instability. There is little point to this device unless it is unstable. For any but the youngest users it is the rocking and rolling you can do that makes the fun. Even for younger users the level of instability in the float ring is what gives the users a level of desired freedom that is not offered by other floatation devices.

It is this same instability that is what makes them extremely dangerous if not properly supervised.

You may scoff but trust me there is no fun in having to right an upside down child because they couldn't do themselves. Just watch the panicked cry of a child as they go to their parents after being rescued and if it doesn't give you pause enough to question the use of float rings then you need a rethink about what is important to you: entertainment or the life of those who use the float device.

Inner tubes and float rings can be fantastic fun when properly supervised. But only under proper supervision. I know my choice and float rings loose.

Our center got rid of these devices and I for one am glad to see them go.

So let me give an impassioned plea: if you are going to use float rings please please please super use them very closely. They are not a toy you can trust to keep your child safe. Enjoy
Richard

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