The PROBLEM With Floaties.
By “floaties”, we mean: arm bands, inflatable rings, rafts, noodles, puddle jumpers, etc.
Flotation devices such as these “float” children in a vertical position. Head sticking up, feet hanging down, arms out to the side with legs bicycling to move around the pool. They are LEARNING that this position in the water is how to get air. They are LEARNING inappropriate postures that they will return to if they happen to get into the pool without the flotation device.
A child that plays in floaties will not learn how to maintain their own buoyancy, and will panic quite quickly if they find themselves in the pool without one of these devices, or if one of the arm floats falls off, or the noodle gets away from them, or they fall off the raft or ring… this poor posture caused by flotation devices will likely affect a child’s ability to perform the necessary skills if they lose the flotation device or fall in the water without it.
The scariest part about flotation devices is that children that wear them think they can swim. Young children simply cannot make the cognitive connection that the flotation device is what is allowing them to breath and play with their head sticking up in the pool.
As for our skilled ISR students, what are the best toys to play with in the water? First of all, MOM and DAD! Secondly, sinking toys and dive toys that will encourage head down, horizontal postures in the water. Children from 6 months to 6 years old that do not yet have ISR Self-Rescue® skills can visit our national website at www.infantswim.com to find the instructor closest to them.
(by SwimGym of Lakewood Ranch)