How to Choose Swim Aids
Introducing your little one to the water can be a fun, safe experience with proper supervision and the right swim aid. However, there are countless types of swim aids, each one serving a different purpose and level of safety. In this guide, you'll gain a better understanding of swim aids so you can choose the right one for your child.
Level of Protection
You'll want to find a swim aid that has the right level of protection to suit your child. Factors such as skill level, height, weight, and age are strong things to consider when choosing a proper swim aid. However, skill level is the most important factor. The following is a range of swim aids that will help your child transition from an absolute beginner to a more confident, skilled swimmer.
- Pre-swimming aids: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend swim classes for babies younger than 12 months. However, many parents introduce their child to the water before formal swim lessons. While keeping no more than an arm's length away from your child, swim aids such as swim seats are a viable option. Inflatable swim seats can be used as young as three months.
- Life vests: The safest choice for young children is a properly worn life vest. A life vest will keep your beginning swimmer afloat while he/she gets accustomed to the water. In addition, a life vest will keep your child on his/her back to prevent drowning. Children's life vests are made in an assortment of fun colors and patterns to get your child excited to be in the water.
- Floatsuits: Once accustomed to the water, your child can transition to a floatsuit. Similar to life vests, floatsuits are flotation devices but they typically include floats around the mid-section that can be removed. Simply remove a float as your child grows more confident in the water.
- Arm bands: Arm bands, or more commonly known as floaties, are inflatable bands that are worn on each arm. These are ideal for children who already have experience with swimming but need a little extra help before they forego swim aids. Like floatsuits, arm bands can appeal to your child by featuring bright colors, your child's favorite cartoon, or animals among other things.
- Kickboards: Kickboards are perfect for little ones that have developed their skills in the water. Kickboards are made from durable EVA foam and will help your child develop leg strength and kicking motions in order to improve their swim techniques.
Learning how to swim should be a fun, healthy experience for your child. Proper supervision is a necessity when your child is in the water. Likewise, swim aids can promote the safety of your child while allowing them to gain confidence and freedom. By reading this guide, you're one step closer to finding the perfect, fun swim aid to help your little one at every level.