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Come and tell me about flotation aids - which ones are best?

(28 Posts)
Tobermory Sun 12-Jul-09 13:34:50

Traditional blow up armbands or something else?
I have see disc shaped things, made of high-density foam - no idea of the name!

DD is fairly fearless, does some great kicking but not quite enough to keep her bouyant.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 12-Jul-09 13:37:19

How old is she, and what does she weigh?

Tobermory Sun 12-Jul-09 13:40:22

2.2yrs and weight, somethign just over 15kg.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 12-Jul-09 13:50:28

Our ds has been wearing something like this since he was about 2 1/2.

They use them at our local pool during lessons too. I think it's great as it leaves their arms free whereas armbands can be quite restrictive.

juuule Sun 12-Jul-09 14:16:41

Do you mean these?

They have worked really well for my children.
Local swimming school uses them for lessons.
And they can be used from 12mo up to 10years.

Tobermory Sun 12-Jul-09 14:25:10

IWIWMO - not seen one like that before. Are they suitable for 'unblanaced' stage of non-swimmers? You know when they wobble and do a fair bit of face boobing?

Juuule. I saw exactly those in the pool this morning but would never have foudn them even with 'google'. Thanks. Your children have used them?

squeaver Sun 12-Jul-09 14:27:58

Dd has only ever used a woggle in her swimming lessons. They say NO to armbands.

When we went on hols, her teacher recommended the jacket with the foam weights you can put in and out. It was fab.

juuule Sun 12-Jul-09 14:28:14

Yes my 2 youngest have used them.

juuule Sun 12-Jul-09 14:31:51

They are used in my children's swimming classes. A disc is removed as the children become more confident in the water and they do move to using a woggle. But if they get tired then they might go back to however many discs make them comfortable and able to join in. They do seem to come on quite quickly and not need them for long in lessons.

When taking them swimming myself, I liked them because they were around their arms and they couldn't lose them which was possible with only a woggle.

singalongamumum Sun 12-Jul-09 14:35:49

squeaver- why do they say no to armbands?

Tobermory Sun 12-Jul-09 14:36:25

squeaver- how young was she when using the woggle?

DD has had some baby swim classes and has some basic water skills...she will swim and hold on (from me to teh side a foot or two away), she will hold on the side and monkey along, hand over hand and also has a great kicking action. Today when we went swimming we didnt take a flotation aid, I supported heraround the waist to stop her dunking while she kicked. But for some of it she really wanted to be independent and off, and for those times I wanted somethign more solid than a woggle - seomthing she cant wriggle off!

juuule Sun 12-Jul-09 14:39:19

Just wanted to say that once they don't need to use the discs they don't need a woggle, the woggle is used to support them while they concentrate on different swimming techniques.

squeaver Sun 12-Jul-09 14:48:07

Because they become too reliant on them, I think, and don't learn to float by themselves. The woggle is good for learning specific techniques as juuule says.

She started when she was 2. They tie them in a knot for the really little ones.

nappyaddict Sun 12-Jul-09 14:48:39

the swim fin is fab

juuule Sun 12-Jul-09 14:57:57

None of the children that have come through the swimming classes that my children attend appear to have become dependant on the swimming discs.

singalongamumum Sun 12-Jul-09 14:59:20

I am worried that floatation devices that keep the child's head out of the water will encourage them to worry about getting their faces wet. Am I right? Or maybe the idea is you do a mix of stuff... some time to be independent, like tobemory said?

squeaver Sun 12-Jul-09 15:09:29

Sorry, I was talking about armbands, don't know about the disc things.

DontCallMeBaby Sun 12-Jul-09 18:15:09

DD has had:

- Delphins (the discs) - great in theory, but in practice cut into her arms really badly, surprising as they are supposed to be suitable up to age 12 (she is a substantial child but her arms are not THAT big)
- a woggle - went right off this one when she fell off it in the 3m deep deep-end of local pool, and sank like a stone
- armbands - while they're not really advised, they don't seem to have done any harm

She has been putting her head underwater with gusto since being told at CenterParcs that she couldn't go down the flume unless she put her face in the water. I think they all have their uses - woggles are good for certain kinds of practice in shallower water, but armbands are much more secure for playing around when the child is out of its depth. Unless they put their arms over their head and jump in, in which case they might come off, as I found out to my cost (DD - perfectly happy, rescued by daddy; me - another five years off my life).

scrappydappydoo Sun 12-Jul-09 18:37:03

I think armbands aren't recommended because the child isn't in a natural swim position i.e they make arms stick out to sides.
My dds (3 and 1) don't wear anything in water they can stand in...
When we are in deep water dd1 has a float suit with the removeable foam bits - this works fine but it takes a bit of time to get used to - sort of unbalances a bit..but now shes used to it no problems at all. dd2 I just hold..
We also have a woggle but you would have to supervise very closely in deep water..
My dds swimming teacher said to try and make sure they don't use any floatation device all the time as they have to find their own bouyancy iyswim.

SoupDragon Sun 12-Jul-09 18:41:59

I think the jacket types are considered the best.

ARmband type things interfere with proper arm movement.

None of my children have used anything though. If they couldn't swim, I held onto them. All could swim by about 3.5 though.

SoupDragon Sun 12-Jul-09 18:43:13


lou031205 Sun 12-Jul-09 19:46:16

Please, please follow weight guides strictly on jacket type floats. We bought one for DD1, who was the recommended age, but is light for her age.

It tipped her head first into the water, and she couldn't right herself, because she wasn't strong enough to lift herself back on her feet. A very scary few seconds that we had looked away, as we thought she was safe (she was walking into waist high water from a very shallow point).

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 12-Jul-09 19:51:42

Tobermory She sounds like she'd get on great with the chest float thing that we use. You can take off a float at a time as they improve.

scrappydappydoo Sun 12-Jul-09 19:56:16

Lou - thats what happened with dd1 and her float jacket - it took a couple of attempts before she got the hang of it...but is fine now. I would have thought float belt might have similar problem???

feedthegoat Sun 12-Jul-09 20:29:11

My 3 year old ds had his first swimming lesson last week and they used the foam disc type floats like juuule linked to.

I was really impressed how he got on with them as it was only his third ever time in a pool but he was fine. From what I could see it looked like they reduce the discs over time. I'm also not worried about him not getting his face wet as he got a dunking when he jumped into the pool. He's been asking to go again all week, roll on wednesday!

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