Swimming Instructor Reveals Why Using Floaties in Pools Can Be Fatal
As the season of beach outings and pool parties approaches, it becomes crucial for parents to ensure their children’s safety in and around the water. Nikki Scarnati, a certified infant swimming instructor, has revealed the biggest mistakes parents unintentionally make as they try to keep their kids safe and entertained while swimming.
Scarnati explains that floaties like water splashers, puddle jumpers, and even life jackets should be used only in open water and are not meant for swimming pools:
’’They are not approved for pools, they’re not approved for frequent use, and they’re not approved as learn-to-swim aid,’’ she says, adding that a floatation device cannot replace an adult who is supposed to supervise a child.
Floaties can prevent a child from learning to swim.
They’re mostly just hindering a child from learning how to swim and stay afloat without props: ’’When you take a child who’s been in swim and self-rescue lessons and put them in a flotation, for every 15 minutes they’re in the water, they’re undoing one week’s worth of lessons.’’ Nikki warns.
Plus, overusing floaties or using them in the wrong way can instill false confidence in a child, which can be particularly dangerous.
Scarnati emphasizes that by using floaties, children get used to being in the upright position instead of learning how to swim.
Some popular floaties with a canopy are particularly prone to flipping over, and she advises parents to avoid them. The canopy can make it difficult to pull the child out if they end up upside down in the water.
Knowing how to use floaties properly is key.
There are some exceptions, though. The best option would be a floatie on which a kid can sit upright so that it doesn’t interfere with their swimming.
Bonus: Pay attention to how you wrap your kid in a towel.
She insists this is innocent as it can put children at risk of drowning. Kids won’t be able to move their arms underwater if they fall into a swimming pool with a towel covering their upper body.
“When you get them out of the pool, dry their arms off, but put the towel underneath their arms. Make sure your towel is under your little one’s arms. NOT on top. That way, if they end up in the water, they still have access to their limbs to self-rescue, and they’re that much safer,” Nikki explained.
In our day-to-day life, seemingly small details can unexpectedly transform into potential risks. Fortunately, invaluable advice is readily shared online, including seemingly obvious yet often overlooked tips that can effortlessly keep us out of harm’s way.