5 Reasons Why Floaties are a Bad Idea


There’s no doubt that in certain situations, floatation devices can save children’s lives in the water. However, when it comes to swim ‘floaties’ — also known as ‘water wings’ — the safety benefits are not as great as they may seem. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.

So why are floaties not such a great idea?

  1. They are not approved safety devices. ‘Water wing’ style floaties are common, but they not an approved flotation device. Why? Because most can easy pop, deflate or break. If this occurs, the child could be at risk — especially if they are very reliant on the floaties to remain above the water.
  2. They give children a false sense of security in the water. Kids who regularly wear floaties may develop a false sense of security around water and lose their natural wariness of its dangers. This can become an issue when children have access to deep water and are not wearing floaties — especially if they decide to jump in.
  3. They give a false sense of security to parents. Assuming kids are safe in the water with floaties can lead to parents not watching as closely; should anything happen, such as the floaties deflating, this can prove dangerous.
  4. Floaties don’t encourage a natural swimming position. When a child wears a set of floaties, it causes them to float vertically in the water; for a human to float unaided (and swim), they must be horizontal. Lying in the water horizontally feels unnatural, but it’s a feeling children must get used to if they are to learn to float and swim unaided.
  5. They don’t necessarily help a child learn to swim. Many parents believe that if their child learns to ‘swim’ with floaties on, they’ll be able to transfer those skills to swimming without them. The truth is floaties don’t teach children how to swim; good instruction does.

In certain circumstances, floaties and similar sorts of aids can be useful — however, it’s important to always actively supervise your child around water and ensure they spend a greater percentage of their time in the water without them, learning how to float and swim unaided. There is no substitute for swimming lessons, and it’s important to make sure your child is learning how to swim from an early age.

Here at Aquastar Swim Schools, we offer lessons for kids of all ages — ensuring they are safe and confident in the water, without floaties!

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