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Kids Swimming Floats: What Most Do Not Understand About Them

Kids Swimming Floats Do Not prevent Drowning

I found a number of articles online on "What you need to know about your kid's water safety skills". But many of them like to promote water wings as a good way to prevent a child from drowning. This is a message that just doesn't seem to be getting through to parents!

Just the other day I had two parents sitting on the side of the pool whilst their child was happily playing in the pool with floaties and a water ring. Now I know they were getting ready to get in but they were well out of arms reach and they were chatting to each other and not paying attention to their child.

When I approached them, their response was, "oh he's alright". To which I replied, "no he is not, it only takes 20 seconds"!

I usually try to be a bit more tactful than that but the parental response was so cavalier that I'm afraid I was a bit curt. You see I am not convinced that it even takes 20 seconds.

Image of a child in the pool wearing kids swimming floats and a water ring:
Water Wings and Floaties Are Only Safe Under Supervision 

I have been a swim teacher for more than 20 years and I know that the gag reflex that stops children from swallowing water when they go under, is very far from perfect protection. It only takes a few seconds to swallow water and for it to go into the lungs and whilst unconsciousness and other signs of drowning take longer to present, it seems to me that the damage has already been done long before those signs show up.

More over, if they have been in the water long enough, even if you have pulled them out before they came close to unconsciousness, there is still the risk of secondary drowning that needs to be dealt with by medical practitioners. The longer the water stays in the lungs the greater the risk.

Now please be aware that I am not trying to scare anybody. If a child swallows water and it goes down the wrong way it is very simple to lift the child out of the water and after they have finished coughing and spluttering they should be fine. But only if they have been picked out of the water straight away.

It's so simple, just be attentive to your child whilst they are in the water and do not rely on floatation devices to protect them. You are their best protection!

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

I know also that posts on this topic are not popular but I can get just one person who has not previously recognized the danger to so they this post is worth it.

Don't get me wrong floaties or water wings or any floatation device can be a lot of fun but only if they are properly supervised.


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