- Posted by Candace Hathaway
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As a survival swim school, we understand our responsibility 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 a grave disservice to their children, ultimately putting them more at risk for drowning.
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.
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 lax 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.
Herein 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. So 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.
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 the drowning position.
Being able to maintain your own buoyancy, the ability to float on your back, is the number one rule when an issue arises in the water. It’s imperative a child knows how to successfully get to and hold this position should they fall into the water unexpectedly.
There is No Alternative to 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, as well. 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.
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.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Texas Swim Academy is a state-of-the-art swimming facility offering water safety, survival swim, and kids swimming lessons in Katy, Texas. Owners Kathleen and Bruce McMordie, alongside our certified staff, help parents introduce children to water at an early age through the Infant Survival Swim Program , teaching life-saving techniques and basic swimming skills.
Our Stroke Development Program offers six different levels to help students progress in their swimming skills at his or her own pace. Our Adaptive Aquatics Program was created specifically for children with special abilities. Find swimming class registration information here. By subscribing to Texas Swim Academy’s blog , you can stay current on valuable water safety resources such as survival swim, health and wellness, Texas Swim Academy news and more. Follow our Facebook , Twitter, and YouTube pages for even more news, updates, and tips!