- Janice Jaicks
Puddle Jumpers & Arm Floaties Actually Put Children at Risk
Updated: Jun 28, 2022
At Desert Swim School, we understand our responsibility is to provide children in the community and surrounding areas with not only the life-saving skills necessary to survive in the water, but also provide them with a deep love and appreciation for the water.
When parents encourage and promote the use of puddle jumpers and arm floaties they are doing often doing a disservice to their children.
It’s important to us to provide valuable information about the dangers of these devices and how they can negatively affect a child’s experience in the water. We understand that sometimes parents need a little bit of break however, please limit use of these devices and never take your eyes off of your children while they are in the water (floatation device or no floatation device).
Puddle Jumpers Create a False Sense of Security
Puddle jumpers and arm floaties provide both children and parents alike with a false sense of security. When outfitting a child with either of these floatation devices, parents mistakenly believe their child is safe from drowning and can become relaxed in vigilantly watching their child while they are in the water. Children, on the other hand, all of a sudden think they can truly swim or stay afloat in the water at all times while wearing them. Here lies the problem.
Children who spend most of their time swimming in the pool with puddle jumpers or floaties believe they are swimming unassisted since no one is holding them. Therefore, they come to develop the belief that they can stay above water without the help of these floatation devices.
There have been way too many documented horror stories from parents who have shared their own experiences with their child going back into the water unattended and alone because they thought they could swim thanks to the hands-off approach of puddle jumpers and arm floaties.
Please read Juddah's story- https://judahbrownproject.org
Incorrect and Ineffective Posture
Puddle jumpers and arm floaties are notorious for helping children develop ineffective swimming posture. These devices hold children in a vertical position — head up, feet down, arms out — causing them to use more of a bicycling motion in the water. What many don’t understand is the vertical position is not the correct positioning for swimming. Their kicks need to be reaching the surface, not the bottom of the pool.
Knowing How to Swim
Respecting the water and fearing the water are two very different things. Teaching our children from a young age, even infants, the proper skills necessary, as well as them understanding their limitations, not only creates strong swimmers, but respectful ones. Enrolling your child in swimming lessons provides them with confidence, a life-saving skill set, and a lifelong love of water.
Relying on the use of puddle jumpers and arm floaties is not a replacement for swimming lessons and using them as such only hinders a child’s growth and development in and around the water.
It can happen to anyone!
Child drownings don’t discriminate. They can affect any one of us at any time. Providing our children with the proper skill set by trained professionals beginning at a young age will give them the tools necessary to survive, and thrive, in the water. That being said, eye to eye contact, fences, gates, nets, and having anyone who is caring for your child (babysitters, grandparents, friends, pool parties) understand water safety.