Do you let your toddler use floaties when going to the pool?

Monday, June 30, 2014

It's summer in North Carolina and it means hot weather. Really hot weather. With a toddler running around everyday, I gotta be thankful for having a pool where we can escape from the heat and humidity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 800 children drown. This is the equivalent to 11 full school buses. Based on those numbers I was a little bit scared to have a swimming pool by our home, and to feel safe around one while taking care of a very energetic toddler.

After being very reluctant on letting our little girl wear the famous floaties, since we were believers that by now we would've taught her how to swim, I finally gave in and bought at Target one of the Puddle Jumpers Life Vest (the "3D" fish version). Although all the research I've done about the benefits of wearing floaties and believing they do not lean to much help on teaching your child to swim, I had to try, for the sake of my sanity.

I am not a good swimmer, and I have no problem in staying in the water with my child, but the most I would go in the water with her, the more she got insecure in getting into the pool, to the point she would be so attached to me that I felt she would drown me. She would not interact with other kids for not letting go off me, and the fact that her swimming skills were not as advanced, we found ourselves in a "stuck" situation.

From my understand the inflatable floaties that go in the arms of the child, keep them standing up in the water, giving the false illusion of how to float around on your own. Also they are very likely to scape from your child's arm if not completely inflated. The ones made by Puddle Jumpers are have a buckle on the back of your child, so at age 2, is unlikely that they can remove it on their own. Also for having a base on their chest, it helps them to keep a 75 degree inclination when in the water.

Five minutes after Sophia going in the water with her Puddle Jumpers she was already kicking her legs and moving her arms trying to swim. After about an hour in the pool, she could cross from one side to another on her own, and able to interact with other kids.

Trust me, I was the entire time by her, or with an eye on her, and I'll about attachment parenting, but being able to see your child have a little bit of independency is a pretty good feeling

What do you think? Would you let your toddler wear floaties? Where you able to teach your child to swimming very young? Would you like to share any advise?

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