Your backyard pool is fun for the whole family. Even the littlest of kids can enjoy the water with their families. It is important to make sure that they have the proper flotation device to keep them safe. The market is bursting at the seams with different flotation options ranging from flimsy and cute to over-the-top safe. How do you know what the right choice is for your little swimmer? Read on to learn 3 essential tips for choosing your child’s pool floatie.
Tip #1 Know your Child’s Needs
Floaties are not a one size fits all kind of item. In fact, they are actually very specific. From height and weight to the amount of support needed there are a wide variety of floaties to fit every need. Knowing exactly what your child needs from a floatie will save you from an endless road of trial and error. When you head to the store, know your child’s height and weight. Try to determine how much support they will need. Will your child be totally dependent on the flotation device or can they do some swimming, but still require a bit of back up support? Having experienced your child’s abilities in the water before you shop will be a major benefit.
Tip #2 Know your Options
There are so many floatie options it could literally make your head spin. Basically, they fall into a 4 basic categories; pre-swim aids, life jackets, arm floaties and kickboards. Pre-swim aids give the most support and can be found in a variety of styles these are typically used until 12 or 18 months. Life jackets still offer plenty of support, but offer the freedom to move around. Life jackets also come in many styles ranging from vests and jackets to belts and flotation swimsuits. Once your child is a pretty proficient they are probably ready to advance to arm floaties for a while. Once your child is able to swim on their own they can advance to kickboards. Kickboards would also include things like pool noodles. They can be helpful for kids if they get tired, but aren’t a very reliable float for inexperienced swimmers. When you are ready to shop for your pool floats, choose a store that has a big selection so you can find the right option for you.
Tip #3 Know your Child’s Preferences
Knowing your child’s preferences is also helpful when choosing a pool floatie. Some children have sensory challenges and prefer not to have things on their arms or touching their skin. Other children have trouble staying off their back in a traditional life jacket and need to utilize one of the many other options. A flotation device is only effective if your child is willing to wear it, so knowing their preferences will help you get the right one the first time.
Safety is the number one concern when it comes to your pool. Making sure that your child has a proper flotation device helps them to feel more confident in the water. It also eases your mind, so the whole family can enjoy the pool!