Posted by: waterworksonwheels | March 8, 2010

Avoiding Floaties and Other Safety Tips

An experienced swim instructor can always tell when a child has been using floaties. He or she will kick under the water rather than on top of the water. They will use more of a treading motion than a horizontal swimming motion. This, of course, will also keep the head above water rather than in the water where it’s suppose to be. The moral of the story — using floaties causes a child to need more time and more attention to learn to swim correctly.

Floaties generally serve as a child’s security blanket. Many children will get so attached and dependent upon their floaties that they will not want to give them up. I have heard more than one story about a child jumping in the pool thinking their floaties were on their arms (and they were not) or floaties falling off as the child entered the water. Most swim instructors will agree: Floaties are a false sense of security for your children, as well as an obstacle that hinders proper swimming and kicking techniques.

Floaties sometimes become a “safety tool” for parents as well. While most parents are responsible enough to realize that their children should never, ever be unattended in the water, there are certainly cases where a parent believes that floaties will be sufficient and leave their child to play unattended. Floaties cannot take care of your children.

Other safety tips that you’ve heard over and over again on the news and in articles:

  • Keep toys away from the pool area (inside the pool area). It is too enticing for a child who wants to get the toy near the water.
  • Keep large toys (like a chair, toybox, anything a child may be able to climb up on) away from the pool.
  • Be sure you have fence around your pool and /or a self closing latch on your doors that lead to the pool/backyard. Plus — keep your pool locks locked/latched  at all times.
  •  Don’t think just because your child is in swim lessons that makes them drown proof. No one is drown proof! Don’t let your guard down.

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