Buying Guide for Swim Floaties for Kids
Why buy swim floaties for kids?
When warm temperatures finally start to rise, there’s nothing quite like spending a day at the pool with your family. One of the best ways to help new swimmers feel more comfortable in the water is to invest in high-quality swim floaties. While kids should always be supervised around and in the water, swim floaties can help kids feel calmer and more comfortable while swimming. Many swim floaties also help protect your kids from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Swim floaties come in a wide variety of fits, colors, and designs, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding one that suits the needs of you and your kids.
What should you consider in swim floaties for kids?
- Materials: To ensure your kids are getting the most out of their swimming experience, invest in swim floaties made with high-quality materials. Look for floaties crafted with sturdy nylon or soft polyester, as these materials are comfortable enough to wear all day yet durable enough to withstand rough play. If you’re looking to protect your kids from harmful sun damage, seek floaties that have been made with UPF-friendly fabrics.
- Safety Features: While swim floaties are designed to help children feel more comfortable in the water, it’s important to note that your child should already know how to swim before using floaties. Swim floaties are designed to encourage children to become more confident in their swimming abilities; they aren’t meant to teach children how to swim. If purchasing swim floaties within the right context, make sure that the floaties come with safety features that’ll help your child feel more secure while swimming. The floaties should fit snugly to help your child develop proper swimming techniques; they should also come with a safety belt that snaps securely in place to prevent your child from taking the floaties off.
- Weight Limit: Be sure to check the weight limit on swim floaties before you buy them to ensure they are right for your child. Some floaties are made specifically for babies and toddlers, while others are designed for big kids. Using floaties that are too big or too small for your child is unsafe.
How do you know when your child is ready to swim without floaties?
If your child is learning swim basics without their floaties, that’s good! Floaties keep kids in an upright position, whereas swimming is not done vertically, save for treading water. With supervision and/or professional lessons, it’s great to get kids in the water to learn at least the basics for survival without their flotation devices. Once your child has mastered swim basics and feels confident in the pool (always properly supervised!), it may be a good time to remove the floaties for good.
Our Picks for the Best Swim Floaties for Kids
Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids' Life Jacket
This Coast Guard-approved float for kids helps your child feel confident and safe in the water.
Pros: This is a solid pick for most families. It’s all one piece, so you won’t have to worry about leaving one arm float behind or having to find one. It’s great on the go because it dries quickly and won’t leave big puddles in your car. Plus, the material is durable, so you can use it for more than one season, as long as your child remains within the weight limit. It’s also comfortable for kids to wear and doesn’t leave marks or scrapes on their skin. And the designs are downright cute.
Cons: Kids learning to swim may regress.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a swim float for your little one, this Coast Guard-approved option is a solid choice! The adjustable buckle and strap help to create the perfect fit for comfort and safety.
LAYCOL Baby Swimming Float with Canopy
Have fun with your baby in the pool while protecting their skin with this safe float.
Pros: This is a unique pool float. You strap your baby in an upright position with straps on the shoulders and one between the legs. The flotation part wraps around the baby from the front and lifts and supports them comfortably and safely. Compared to similar products, this baby pool float with a canopy is a great value. Your baby can float around next to you securely in the pool. It even comes with a canopy to shade your baby from the sun. Plus, the air pump is included.
Cons: You should never leave your child in this float unsupervised.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a swim float for a baby with a sun-protecting canopy, this may be a good choice for you. It comes in giftable packaging, perfect for baby showers. Plus, the canopy is removable for traveling purposes.
Speedo Kids' Begin to Swim Vinyl Basic Arm Bands
These arm floaties are great for kids who are ready for a bit more independence.
Pros: These arm floaties are great for bigger kids up to 50 pounds. They can boost their confidence in the water, but they aren’t as limiting in movement as bulkier options. They’re high quality, lasting through several seasons, and they have dual air chambers for added safety. Given the quality, these are a fantastic value.
Cons: These are difficult for some people to inflate.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a higher-quality version of the traditional arm floaties, these may be a good selection for you. These are perfect for preschool to school-aged kids, but they may not be the best choice for younger toddlers.
TOYSHARING Back Float Safety Swim Trainer
This back float helps a child learn to swim in a natural position while adding buoyancy.
Pros: This is a fantastic tool to help teach your child to swim. You can remove one block at a time as your child progresses. The belt fastens tightly enough for children as young as 3 years old to start learning to swim, and it’s long enough for older beginners. It’s compact and lightweight, fitting perfectly into a beach bag or backpack.
Cons: The foam is soft, so it won’t stand up to a lot of rough play without becoming damaged.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a tool to help your budding swimmer, this float may be the answer. It has multiple layers of foam that you can remove one at a time as your child becomes a stronger swimmer. Plus, it’s comfortable and fully adjustable.
SwimSchool Swim Trainer Vest
This adjustable vest helps a child feel more confident in the water while also providing UV protection.
Pros: One of the best things about this vest is that it allows your child freedom of movement as they’re getting used to the water. The strap is secure, keeping your child safe and giving you peace of mind that it won’t come off easily. Plus, it’s soft against your child’s skin without leaving red marks.
Cons: There’s no strap on the back for parents to grab onto in an emergency.
Bottom Line: If you prefer a vest-style float for your child, this may be an excellent selection for you. This style is highly recommended for toddlers just getting used to the water.
Pool floats for kids come in different styles that serve different functions. If you know your child’s needs, you can make an informed decision when searching for a pool float for kids. And, as a reminder, no matter how great pool floaties may be, children must always be supervised by a responsible adult while in or near the water.