Thanks to TYR Sport for sponsoring this post.
Water safety is a HUGE concern for my family as we move into summer, and I know it is for yours too. After my toddler’s near-drowning accident a few years ago, we know just how quickly an accident can happen.
Do you have the right products to help keep your toddler safe in the water this summer and help teach swimming skills that could save your child’s life?
I learned a few things from our close call with my daughter:
- Water accidents can happen to “good” parents.
- They can happen when you are “watching”.
- They can happen so unbelievably fast.
One thing that was very, VERY clear to me after my daughter recovered from her accident was that it’s never too early to start teaching swimming skills.
My daughter had been wearing a life jacket until moments before her accident. The life jacket she was used to wearing was an infant life jacket with full head flotation.
Do you know what is wrong with most child life jackets?
I’ve used a life jacket as a safety net with my kids for a while. I definitely still watched them but I liked knowing they had an extra bit of protection. The problem is, my daughter was not able to move around well in the water so, even though she’d spent quite a bit of time at the pool, she hadn’t learned any swimming skills.
That was clearly a problem.
I always tell my kids that once they know better they need to do better and I’m making better choices with my twins. All three girls are now in survival swimming classes (and I can’t say enough good things about that), and we are making sure they have plenty of opportunities to play in the water so they can get comfortable.
When we go swimming as a family, we still need life jackets on the non-swimmers. With six kids (and knowing how quickly drowning accidents happen), I know that they need a safety net unless we are actively working on swimming skills with them one-on-one.
Now we focus on using swim aids as a tool rather than a crutch . . . because the ultimate goal is to get kids swimming on their own.
TYR KIDS’ START TO SWIM PROGRESSIVE SWIM AID
TYR sent us a great selection of their water safety products for toddlers and one of our favorites has been the TYR Kids’ Start to Swim Progressive Swim Aid. It offers full range of motion so your toddler can really get a feel for how to move in the water but it gives them some extra buoyancy based on their swimming skills.
As your toddler learns some basic swimming skills, you can remove floatation cubes from the vest in stages as her skills increase. The vest encourages the proper position in the water vs. a traditional life jacket that keeps kids upright and in a position that doesn’t work well for swimming.
What I loved about this is there wasn’t a big risk of kids getting out of the vest on their own like other transitional water safety products for toddlers but it was still comfortable for them to wear. Even my cautious twin, who usually refuses to move while she is wearing a life jacket because she feels so constricted, got in the water and had fun swimming around in this.
TYR KIDS’ FLOTATION SHIRT
The TYR Kids’ Flotation Shirt is one of my favorites because it is one of the few floatation shirts I’ve seen that buckles in the back. This makes it easy for parents to put on but hard for toddlers to take off.
Swim aids that are easy for toddlers to take off on their own are a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I see so many kids wearing them at the pool and not being adequately supervised because their parents think they are safe. They don’t realize just how quickly kids get take those off and find themselves in trouble in the water.
I have kids who will find ways to get out of anything and have very little fear. When we are at the pool with all the kids I want to know that they are going to keep their life jackets on so they’ll stay safe if I’m distracted for a second with one of their siblings.
The TYR Kids’ Flotation Shirt still gives full mobility and is comfortable so kids are happy to wear them. They come in some great, vibrant colors too so kids are easy to spot in the water (of course, we still recommend staying right next to them).
TYR KIDS’ TRADITIONAL LIFE VEST
While I love getting kids to rely more on their own skills in the water, there are definitely still times non-swimming toddlers need a traditional life vest. I highly recommend all non-swimmers wear a traditional life vest while boating, swimming in open water, or swimming in crowded areas.
We had a scary situation when one of my boys was younger that left us very grateful he was wearing a life vest. My husband and son were in the water when we discovered our boat wouldn’t start. The waves quickly pushed them both away from the boat and the situation became suddenly dangerous. It took several hours for the coast guard to reach them in the water.
Without a life jacket and in rough waters, I have no doubt they may have both drowned. We still ended up with an ambulance ride but because he was wearing a life jacket, my son ended up with only a case of hypothermia.
TYR KIDS’ START TO SWIM SOFT ARM FLOATS
Are you looking for arm floats that work for your older (and almost swimming) toddler? I am not personally a fan of arm floats, because I don’t feel like they are the safest option and I feel like they limit kids from learning how to use their arms, but most of us grew up using arm floats. There are some flimsy plastic ones on the market that pop easily . . . and that can be scary when your child needs that extra support in the water. Be very cautions using arm floats, and as always, make sure you are actively supervising your child in the water.
TYR has some soft arm floats that I’m really impressed with. The outer layer is a a soft polyester fabric that makes them more comfortable for kids to wear and gives them a bit of extra protection against snagging on something.
Kids have a lot of freedom when wearing arm floats, so they are perfect when your child has some basic swimming skills but still needs a bit of extra support. Just be aware that these can pop or come off your child in the water so you need to be prepared to step in and help.
TYR Goggles for Kids
To learn to swim properly, kids need to be comfortable putting their face in the water. This is a huge challenge for some kids. I’ve had a few kids that would rather do just about anything else than put their face in the water, but it’s a skill that has to be learned.
Goggles can make a huge difference in helping kids to be comfortable in the water. The Goggles we have from TYR Sport have been amazing. They are so much easier to adjust than our old goggles (and that’s so important for kids), and they must be comfortable to wear because my kids never complain about wearing them.
They have some great style selections too so your kids can pick out the perfect pair for them.
Dive Toys for Kids
Diving practice is a great chance for new swimmers to get comfortable moving around in the water. One of my twins is not a fan of putting her face in the water and is fighting learning to swim but she loves to go hunting for dive sticks and rings. The TYR Dive sticks are her favorite, because they stand upright in the water but we are having her alternate between those and the TYR dive rings.
My kids all love the bright colors (and it makes them so much easier to find in the water). They have a soft fabric cover that makes them easy on your hands too.
For kids who just need some practice moving around in the water, the TYR Start to Swim Pool Balls are awesome. Even my older boys loved playing with these and they definitely encouraged my toddlers to move around a lot more trying to chase them.
Toddler Bathing Suit
You probably don’t think of a bathing suit as a water safety tool, but some bathing suits go for fashion over function (we’ve all been there) and make it a bit harder for toddlers to move around in the water. We’ve had bathing suits that were super cute but had straps that slid off or weren’t form fitting enough and made it difficult for kids to swim.
TYR has an adorable line of bathing suits for kids that are specially designed for swimming. They are form fitting (and adorable) so kids can focus on swimming.
As a mom of little girls, I also love that they don’t look too grown up. They have really cute designs without making my toddlers look like mini teenagers. That’s always a perk. Check out their cute bathing suits here.
This summer, we hope you’ll have an amazing time in the water with your kids while staying safe. Water sports can be so much fun as a family, you just have to make safety a priority. My daughter’s near-drowning experience really opened my eyes to just how quickly an accident can happen near the water and I hope by sharing our experience your family can avoid going through the same thing.