We all know that floaties are very popular for young children, especially the ones who do not know how to swim on their own yet. Just because they keep your child up and out of the water, does not mean that they will help them in the long run and can even cause dangerous habits.
Most young swimmers use floaties before they even start swim lessons and this causes them to have the understanding that if they lift their heads out of the water they will be just fine and naturally float. Anyone who knows about swimming, knows that the slightest lift of your head will have the opposite affect of a float.
When in a standing position your legs will not float but in fact will start to sink, the sinking sensation then causes people to panic and the panic leads to going under and drinking water. This is a very important reason why we should not be encouraging that upright position which is created by floaties.
Floaties also give a fake sense of security, for both children and parents a like. The reason I say this is because when young children use them, they are convinced that they already know how to swim. This leads to young children taking more unnecessary risks around the pool. Some children will jump in thinking they can float just like they did with the floaties and instead will go under. Other children may wonder off the ledge thinking they are safe and realize too late that they are not able to swim in that area or stand.
Another thing to think about if your child uses floaties is that they limit movement. So what happens if you turn your back for a second and your child some how gets tipped over? They can’t move, they can’t breath and they cant flip on their back, these are other dangerous circumstances that could arise from using floaties.
Floaties also create bad habits that are hard to break once your child starts swim lessons, for example lifting their heads to breathe is something that children are told not to do from the very beginning of most swim lesson programs. This is because we want the children to start learning the habit of rolling on their back to breathe. This roll makes sidebreathing a lot easier to learn in the long run. It also makes it so they can relax on their back when they get tired or if they fall into a pool they can roll on their back and call for help.
So parents please throw away those floaties and get your child started in on swim lessons!