Many parents rely on personal flotation devices to ensure their children’s safety in the water. However, a question that often comes up is whether or not personal flotation devices (PFDs) are doing more harm than good. Truthfully, when it comes to learning how to swim, PFDs may give parents a false sense of security and interfere with a child’s ability to properly learn how to swim.


They Can Provide a False Sense of Security

Personal flotation devices such as life vests and life jackets are helpful because they are designed to keep people safe during emergencies when participating in activities such as boating, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. PFDs such as float belts and water wings are designed to provide added protection when playing or recreating in the water. Unfortunately, many parents think that PFDs are enough to keep their child safe and will use these devices as the only method to prevent drowning. This is when PFDs do more harm than good. Personal flotation devices should never substitute for parental guidance and supervision, or a child’s ability to swim. It only takes a split second for drowning to occur. PFDs can pop and slip off with one jump in the pool and without a guardian or parent present, there is potential for drowning to occur.


They Can Interfere with a Child’s Ability to Learn How to Swim

While PFDs are a great water safety practice, it interferes with actual swimming skills. Learning how to swim while wearing them is not effective and may hinder a child from learning basic skills. Float belts may keep a child above the surface of the water, but these devices can also tip a child backward or forward. If a child is not being supervised and cannot lift their head up, they can drown. Water wings can hinder a child from using the correct swimming stroke or motion to move through the water. When a child lifts their arms above their head, water wings can cause a child’s head to sink down below the water’s surface causing panic and drowning if not watched.

Personal flotation devices are great to for their intended purpose as a water safety measure. However, nothing can take the place of learning how to swim or adult supervision at all times when in the water. PFDs come and go, but learning how to swim is a lifetime skill that can save a child’s life, and it’s never too early to learn.

Our Survival Swim program teaches infants as young as 6 months how to roll on their back, float, and take a breath – skills that can prevent drowning in the event they fall into the water.

Classes at Texas Swim Academy are very small and instructors are highly trained with safety as our number one priority. As swim season continues, please take the opportunity to review the safety recommendations and resources found on The Pool Safely Pledge and Water Safety Activity Sheet are great activities for kids to raise awareness and remind them to never swim alone.

For more information on this and other swim programs offered at Texas Swim Academy, please contact us or visit our programs page.


Texas Swim Academy is the best swim school near me offering result-oriented swimming lessons in Katy that cater to all ages and abilities. Our well-trained and experienced swimming instructors provide a variety of programs for infants through adulthood. For the little ones, we offer swimming lessons for babies and swimming lessons for toddlers focused on survival swimming skills to build a strong water safety foundation and foster water confidence at a young age. Once your child knows how to swim, our swim lessons for children will help refine techniques and build endurance, as the consistent practice of their swimming skills is an imperative part of becoming a strong swimmer. 

Our adaptive aquatics program is designed for children of all ages and abilities to ensure every child, including children on the autism spectrum, can benefit from these fundamental skills and enjoy the water in a safe and comfortable environment. Adults seeking to improve their swimming prowess or learn how to swim for the first time can enroll in adult swim lessons tailored to their specific goals.

Our swim lessons near me are a convenient and accessible way for you and your family to learn how to swim in a comfortable environment. Our dedicated instructors are passionate about teaching and ensuring your progress in the water. Take a few minutes to view Our Swimmer Stories to learn more about what other families are saying about their experience with Texas Swim Academy. 

Contact us to learn more about our programs or stop by our state-of-the-art swimming facility in Katy to register today. Be sure to follow our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages for important news, updates, and swimming safety tips, and read our blog to keep up-to-date with important information on water safety and proper swimming lessons.