When preparing for the pool, do you pack your flotation devices with your goggles and swim cap? For those of you looking to develop a stronger proficiency in the water, have you considered the detrimental effect “floaties” can have on achieving your goal?
There is no question that certain flotation devices have their place in the water; however, when it comes to learning proper swimming technique, flotation devices can hinder your progress.
Benefits of Ditching the Floating Device
- Water wings are placed on a child’s upper arms, which prevents them from using proper arm strokes in swim techniques.
- Body position is an important aspect of swimming. Flotation devices like water wings or water boards put the body in an upright position. The ideal swimming position places the body in a horizontal or parallel position with the surface of the water.
- Flotation devices can provide a false sense of security. Many parents feel their child wearing a floating device substitutes their supervision in the pool–and this is not true! Also, some floating devices are poorly designed and prone to deflating, leaving someone floundering in the water.
When Are Flotation Devices Appropriate?
Despite not facilitating correct swimming technique, flotation devices do have their place in the water. If you are going swimming in a lake or participating in water sports, wakeboarding, water-skiing or tubing, a life-jacket is a crucial piece of equipment to ensure safety. Even on a boat, every individual should have access to a life-jacket and be aware of how to properly where the device.
In conclusion, flotation devices are not all bad; however, it’s important that your child learns to feel comfortable in the water without the assistance of a flotation device.