It’s swim season, which means that children are at high risk for drowning. Many parents and grandparents try to take steps to keep young children safe, including buy things like inflatable pool rings. But, these devices may be doing more harm than good.
Inflatable Pool Rings
Inflatable pool rings include an inflatable ring that surrounds a seat for a small child. The seat is flexible and has two holes for the child’s legs to poke through. The ring can sustain the weight of most small children with no problem, but that’s actually the source of the issue.
The child is top heavy in the ring, so when they lean over or jump in, their upper body can cause the ring to flip. This holds the child’s upper body under the water, while the ring keeps afloat. Most children don’t have the skill or upper body strength to fight against the floatation device and pull their heads above the surface at the same time. You can see the struggle take place in the video here.
No matter what kind of safety device you use, never leave a child unattended near the water. If you do want the child to wear something so they can have fun in the water, consider a life vest or one of the fun and stylish full padded suits that keep the upper body above water, rather than resting below the waist.
If you have a pool, you might also consider making children wear alarm bracelets. These bracelets sound an alarm when they get wet, so children who have wandered out to the pull and fell or jumped in can get your attention.