Thursday, April 25, 2013

Just Say arm floaties!

Summer Safety week is coming up at LPB in May.  

Summer is around the corner and I often see young children at pools with arm floaties or life jackets.  We are not fans of these floatation devices as they offer parents a false sense of security as well as hinder the learn to swim process.

Arm floaties that you can blow up and slide the kids arms through are the worst.  They are unsafe!  They easily get holes in them and deflate.  Children can easily take them off when a parent is not looking.  They also do a poor job of keeping their face and mouth above water so a child who does not know breath control might ingest unsafe amounts of water unmonitored.  These are very dangerous, please do not put these on your children.  Yah, I wouldn't be happy with those things on either:

The other alternative that parents often use is the life jacket.  When using one on a boat, make sure it is Coast Guard approved,  it will say if it is on the tag.  Always use these when boating or when near moving bodies of water, such as rivers and lakes, for safety:

When swimming in a pool however, we suggest not using the life jacket for teaching swimming.  It gives a false sense of buoyancy and hinders proper body position in the water making for an awkward stroke.  At LPB, during Summer Safety week, we actually spend time getting our swimmers (above red ribbon) comfortable wearing and moving around in the water with a life jacket.  It is such a contrary feeling to what swimming actually is that it can often confuse and even scare children who know how to swim. They find their stroke is difficult because they cannot move well in the water with a life jacket on.  Life jackets are designed to keep heads above water.

Another thing that I have seen floating around the internet lately are videos of young toddlers "falling" into a pool fully clothed and rolling over and floating.  I want to caution all parents to remember NO ONE IS EVER DROWN PROOF!  Even adults, even my husband who was an Olympic swimmer.  Don't ever count on swim lessons or water survival floating to make someone drown proof.  Swim lessons nor water survival methods will ever make up for proper adult supervision at all times.   

Parents, keep the cell phones in your bags while at the pool this summer.  Don't become distracted with texts or phone calls.  Remember drowning is silent and can happen suddenly.  


  1. Great information Liesl- thank you!!!

  2. A little girl just drowned this week when she took off her arm floaties and mom didn't realize it.

    Liesl, I put a vest on you when we went hpuseboating. You WERE scared..and frustrated because you knew that the horizontal swim position is what helped you move forward.