The 5 Best Swim Devices for Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers
Best Swim Devices for Kids and Toddlers
As the mom of two small kids, who are only 16 months apart, I have my work cut out trying to keep them both happy and safe in the summertime. Last year, my in-laws installed a semi-in-ground pool and, of course, all eight grandkids (mine included) are there quite often in the warm summertime weather.
While the pool is definitely an enjoyable way to beat the summer heat, it can be kind of stressful to have small children swimming, so you need to keep a very vigilant eye on them to make sure they're OK. After reading that children age 1-4 have the highest rates of drowning of any other age group, I knew that my eagle eyes wouldn't be enough to make sure they're safe. So, we outfitted our daughters with some swimming devices. Thankfully, with eight grandchildren at the pool, we were quickly able to compare and contrast the different devices. Recently, though, It struck me that a lot of parents could use some help figuring all this out. Since we've used a number of them, I thought I'd share my experience here.
I have tried a few different products out there to keep my girls safe in the pool and will share them with you here today. I've also become familiar with a few other devices thanks to my nieces and nephews. Here I will review the five that I am most familiar with and that seem to be very popular for the toddler/pre-school age child.
I have either used the below devices on my own children or seen my many nieces and nephews use them.
1. Aqua Leisure Swim School Aqua Tot Trainer with Safety Strap
Great Swim Device for Toddlers
This is manufactured by Swim School Deluxe. The Tot Trainer Inflatable Rubber Tube Swim Aid with Swim Strap ensures a secure fit and is said to be made of heavy duty nylon construction. It is also a vibrant yellow color for easy visibility. It also allows the child to be able to freely move, permits them to float in an upright or swimming position on either their front or their back and will not tip over. It is for ages 2-4 years. This device will give your little one a bit of extra support with a tube-like effect as well.
2. Learn to Swim Tube Trainer - Orange
Great Flotation Device for Pre-Schoolers
The next flotation device is the Learn To Swim: Swim Tube Trainer. This one is a dependable, yet easy-to-use swimming aid, which has a strong rubber air-filled tube encased in brightly colored nylon. It also allows for freedom of movement, allowing your child to float in an upright or swimming position on his or her front or back.
However, unlike the others, the Tube Trainer has a tank-top design with bottom security strap and is made for the ages of 3 to 6 years. The only color I have seen this one in unfortunately is orange though, so that may be a negative for some kids on this one.
3. Speedo Begin to Swim Fabric Armbands
For the child who has a bit more of confidence while in the pool, I suggest . These armbands can be inflated to the child's comfort level and are recommended for children aged 2-12. The armbands give just enough flotation for the wearer to feel comfortable as he or she learns to swim. They are made of super soft fabric that are very comfortable when wearing. An added bonus is that they have a UV 50+ block so your child will stay protected from the sun's harmful UV rays. Let me stress, this one is for the child who is a bit more secure in the water, because there is no tube and they are pretty much just modified floaties. Speedo Begin-to-Swim fabric armbands
4. Speedo Kid's UV Neoprene Swim Vest
Another flotation device from Speedo is the Speedo Kid's UV Neoprene Swim Vest, which is another great teaching tool that helps kids gain confidence in the water. This vest offers children who are just starting to learn to swim full flotation support. The UV Neoprene Swim Vest can be used by a child who is familiar with the water but is still dependent on full flotation. It offers all of the comfort and safety features as well as important sun protection.
It also comes in bright and colorful prints that kids love to wear. This is the only vest I am looking at, because if you are looking for a vest this one truly is top of the line and works very nicely.
5. Stearns Kids Puddle Jumper Deluxe Life Jacket
The next flotation device is the , which is a vest that fits comfortably over a child's chest, with arm pieces that allows for free range of motion in the water, while still keeping your child safe and out of danger. This one is made for kids between 30 and 50 pounds and is made of soft, but durable and comfortable polyester. Stearns Puddle Jumper
The Puddle Jumper is available in several designs/colors for both boys and girls. This one has modified floaties plus a float device around the waist as well. Best of all, it's Coast Guard approved, meaning that your kid can wear it on the beach. We learned this one the hard way, because most flotation devices are not permitted on the beach, but this one is, because of the Coast Guard seal of approval on it.
I really recommend these because they really did just add that extra level of water safety for both my girls at such a young age during the summer, and really helped both me and my husband feel more comfortable with our girls in the water. All of us were able to relax, enjoy, and have fun. eally did just add that extra level of water safety for both my girls at such a young age during the summer and water months here for both my husband and I. Helping us feel more comfortable with our girls in the water.
Summing it up..
In short, I have either used these devices on my own children or seen my many nieces and nephews use them.
My 2 1/2 year old niece uses the Learn to Swim Tube, as well as the Aqua Leisure Swim School trainer and her parents have loved both for the extra support it gives. Whereas my 3 year old uses and loves the Speedo Arm Bands and is a fish in the water, so these really have been her best friend this past summer. Still my not quite 2 year old uses the puddle jumper, because she still needs a bit of extra support in the pool and this one seems to work perfect for her. We also tried the Speedo vest with my 3 year old, but she prefers the arm bands. Even so, the vest is still a great product and worth looking into if you wanted more of a vest type product for your child.
In short, because each child is different at the pre-school age in terms of his or her comfort in the water and each parent is different in terms of comfort level, you'll want to pick the one that's right for you. But, I think I have given a nice range of swim flotation devices to that can be tried and used by pre-schoolers. The key here is finding one that both you and your child are comfortable with.
I do hope I gave you some much needed food for thought for this swim season as far as swim safety for your child.