August 5, 2022 by Tamara Nash 0 Comments

How To Prevent Your Toddler From Drowning

Drowning is a silent killer. It often happens when you least expect it, and the results are tragic.

This blog post will discuss key steps that every parent can take to prevent their child from drowning. We will also provide tips for what to do if your toddler does drown.

Please share this information with your friends and family so that everyone can stay safe around water!

How Many Toddlers Drown In The US Per Year?

Accidental drowning is the #1 killer of toddlers. In the US, approximately 950 children drown each year. That’s more than two kids every day.

Compared with the rest of the world, the US has the second-highest rate of drownings among children ages one to four. This is probably due to the fact that many young US children live near water and have easy access to it.

Children under five years are most likely to drown in private pools, rural dams and bathtubs.

Drowning deaths among children 0-4 years by location.

What Age Toddlers Are Most At Risk From Drowning?

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for toddlers ages one to four. Moreover, it is the second-leading cause of injury-related death for children under 14 years old.

Boys are more likely to drown than girls. In fact, boys drown at a rate almost four times that of girls.

There are several risk factors that increase a child’s likelihood of drowning. These include:

  • Being male
  • Being under five years old
  • Having a seizure disorder
  • Being black or Hispanic
  • Having a developmental delay
  • Not knowing how to swim

(Related: Best Life Jackets For Toddlers).

Does Near-Drowning Cause Ongoing Health Problems?

For every toddler who drowns, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

Nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage, leading to a lifetime of disabilities. These disabilities include physical, cognitive, and social impairments and occur in 7% of all drowning cases.

Annual drownings among children in the US. Source: CDC.

For example, a child who survives a near-drowning incident may have permanent brain damage that leads to a vegetative state. Parents of children who nearly drowned report PTSD symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

(Related: Best Life Jackets For Infants).

How To Ensure Child Safety Around Swimming Pools?

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most drownings occur in backyard pools.

To reduce the risk of drowning, install a self-latching gate around the pool. This will ensure that young toddlers cannot get into the pool area without an adult.

In addition to a self-latching gate, you should also have a backyard pool fence. The pool fence should be at least four feet tall and completely surround the pool. If the fence is faulty, replace it immediately.

Keep essential rescue equipment items by the pool. These include a life jacket or a personal flotation device (more on these later), a shepherd’s hook, and a phone.


  • Prop pool gates open
  • Leave furniture or toys near the pool fence (kids love to climb).

The Haddon Matrix, created by the American Academy of Pediatrics, provides a very comprehensive set of drowning prevention strategies. Designed for commercial and public swimming pools, it can be used to inform your actions in a recreational and/or domestic environment.

TimelinePersonalEquipmentPhysical EnvironmentSocial Environment
Before the event 
Provide close, constant, and attentive supervision of children and poor swimmers Install 4-sided fencing that isolates the pool from the house and yard Swim where lifeguards are present Mandate 4-sided residential pool fencing 

Before the event 
Clear handoff supervision responsibilities Install self-closing and latching gatesAttend to warning signage 
Mandate life jacket wear 
Before the event 
Develop water competency, including water-safety knowledge, basic swim skills, and ability to recognize and respond to a swimmer in trouble 
Wear life jackets 
Swim at designated swim sites 
Adopt the Model Aquatic Health Code 

Before the event 
Evaluate preexisting health condition Install compliant pool drains 
Remove toys from pools when not in use to reduce temptation for children to enter the pool 
Increase availability of lifeguards 

Before the event 
Know how to choose and fit a life jacket 
Install door locks 
Empty water buckets and wading pools 
Increase access to affordable and culturally compatible swim lessons 

Before the event 
Avoid substance use 
Enclosures for open bodies of water 
Close high-risk waters during high-risk times 

Before the event 
Know the water’s hazards, conditions 
Promote life jacket–loaner programs 
Develop designated open-water swim sites  

Before the event 
Swim at a designated swim site 
Role model life jacket use by adults 
Enforce boating under the influence laws  

Before the event 
Learn CPR 
Make rescue devices available at swim sites 
Before the event 
Take a boater education course 
Phone access to call for help 
Before the event 
Ensure functional watercraft 
Event Water-survival skills Rescue device available EMS system
After the event Early bystander CPRAEDAdvanced medical care 
After the event Bystander response Rescue equipment 
The Model Aquatic Health Code provides guidelines and standards for equipment, staffing and training, and for monitoring backyard swimming pools. Bold indicates the most evidence-based interventions.

What Are The Signs That Your Toddler Is Drowning?

The number one sign that your child is drowning is that they cannot call for help. They will also likely extend their arms out to the side and try to paddle their legs.

If you see these signs, acting quickly and pulling your toddler out of the water is essential.

If you are ever in doubt about whether or not your child is drowning, err on the side of caution and call for help.

Remember that real-life drowning does not look like it does in the movies. There’s typically minimal splashing or screaming.

(Related: Best Life Jackets For Kids).

How Quickly Do Toddlers Drown?

It can take as little as 20 seconds for a child to drown. One- and two-year-old toddlers are particularly at risk because they lack the coordination and strength to swim.

(Related: How Old Do Kids Have To Be To Kayak Alone?)

What Is The Correct Way Of Designating A Responsible Adult?

Ironically, many drownings occur with plenty of adults around – because everybody assumes somebody else is watching the kids.

You must ensure that the swimming area is under close and constant supervision by a designated responsible adult. It means the children must always be in the designated person’s line of sight.

This designated adult should not be distracted by things like phone calls, conversations, or other children. They should always pay attention to the water and the swimmers.

As the title suggests, the person supervising children should be an adult at least 18 years of age.

If you are the designated water watcher, take breaks every 15 minutes. This will help to ensure that you are not too tired and can still pay attention to the swimmers.

When taking a break, be sure to designate another responsible adult to take your place. Proper supervision means giving ALL of your attention, ALL of the time.

(Related: 10 Best Baby Floats).

What To Do If Your Child Has Drowned?

First, scream for someone to call 911.

Next, act quickly to get the child out of the water immediately.

Turn their head to the side so that any vomit or fluid can drain out of their mouth. If the child isn’t breathing, start CPR (see next point) and continue until they begin to breathe on their own again.

Stay within arm’s reach of your child until help arrives.

(Related: Best Floaties For Toddlers).

Why Is Your Child Afraid Of Water?

A fear of water is common in small toddlers and is usually nothing to worry about.

It’s often a phase they’ll grow out of as they age and become more comfortable around water.

Make sure you don’t use your kid’s fear of water as an excuse not to teach them not to swim, as this will significantly increase their chances of drowning.

There are some things you can do to help your child overcome their fear:

  • Start with small steps – let them gradually get used to the idea of being in the water.
  • Encourage them to splash around and have fun.
  • Ensure they always have a floatation device when they’re in the water.
  • Never force them to do anything they’re not comfortable with.

If their fear persists, it might be worth discussing it with a professional.

Where Can I Learn CPR?

CPR saves lives. You must know how to perform CPR in case of an emergency. You can find CPR classes at your local hospital or Red Cross chapter.

Here are a few quick tips for performing CPR:

  • If the child is unresponsive, call 911 and then begin chest compressions.
  • Push hard and fast in the center of the chest at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.
  • Use both hands and press down at least two inches.

Do Swim Lessons Prevent Toddler Drownings?

You must teach children how to swim. The earlier, the better, but no earlier than age 1. Your child should have strong swimming skills by age four.

Make sure to enrol your child in swimming lessons taught by a certified instructor.

Your child should take lessons yearly to refresh their skills and stay safe in the water.

What Equipment Is Effective At Preventing Drownings?

Life jackets are one of the most useful rescue equipment for preventing drowning. Ensure a life jacket or personal flotation device for every child when you are near open water.

It is also essential to make sure that the life jacket fits properly.

(Related: 7 Best Places To Buy A Life Jacket For Your Kid).

A pool alarm is another safety piece of equipment that can assist you in preventing a drowning death in your family. Located out of children’s reach, the alarm will emit a loud tone when someone enters the water. This may give you precious seconds to reach your kid and save them from drowning by giving you time to react.

Water wings are not effective at preventing drownings! Don’t rely on them.

Above all, remember that the presence of flotation devices or warning alarms must not take the place of active supervision.

What Are The Peak Drowning Times?

Most kids drown during the summer months, between June and August. The peak time for drownings is between 12 p.m. and six p.m.

Which Water Rules Does Your Toddler Need To Learn?

Teach your toddler the following 4 water safety rules:

  1. Reach or throw, don’t go. This rule applies when someone else is in trouble in the water and you need to help them.
  2. If you see something, say something. If you see somebody in trouble, tell a grown-up right away.
  3. Stop, look, and listen. Before going near the water, stop and look to see if it is safe. Listen for any unusual sounds.
  4. Be a buddy, not a bully. Never push or grab somebody in the water. Be nice to others in and around the water.

What Is The Main Cause Of Drowning When Boating?

Operator inattention is the leading cause of boating accidents. Alcohol use is the second-leading cause of fatal boating accidents and can contribute to the first-leading cause.

Other causes include improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and machinery failure. Weather conditions such as high winds, waves, or lightning can also contribute to accidents.

Unfortunately, children are often over-represented in boating-related drownings.

(Related: Are You Allowed To Bring Infants On A Boat?)

Most of these accidents are preventable if boaters follow some simple safety rules:

  • Wear a life jacket at all times.
  • Never drink and boat.
  • Take a boating safety course.
  • Be aware of the weather conditions.
  • Have a float plan and make sure someone on shore knows your plan.
  • Check the boat’s safety equipment and make sure it is in working order.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Follow the speed limit.
  • Do not overload the boat.

Do Medications Increase The Risk Of Drowning?

Some medications can increase the risk of drowning. These include alcohol, sedatives, and anti-seizure medication.

If you are on medication that increases your risk of drowning, don’t swim alone or swim only in areas where there is a lifeguard on duty.

What Unexpected Hazards Do You Need To Be Aware Of?

  • Toilet bowls. Keep the toilet cover down and keep the bathroom door closed.
  • Buckets. Never leave a bucket of water unattended, even for a second. Always empty buckets after use.
  • Bathtubs and hot tubs. Don’t leave children alone in the tub, not even for a minute. Immediately drain the tub after bath time is over.
  • Fountains. Keep children away from fountains. If you have a fountain at home, make sure it is located in an inaccessible area to young children.

Final Water Safety Tips For Toddlers.

By following these drowning prevention tips, you can help keep your child safe from this silent killer.

Remember to never leave a child unsupervised around any body of water, big or small, and make sure they know how to swim and float.

Teach them about pool safety rules and what to do if they find themselves in trouble in the water.

We can all work together with vigilance and education to keep our children safe from drowning.

Let’s protect children by following most important water safety tips:

  • Never leave your child unattended around water, not even for a second.
  • If you are at the beach, stay in shallow water where you can still touch the ground.
  • Swim lessons save children’s lives.
  • Always wear life jackets when on a boat or near open water (see below)
  • Avoid drinking alcohol when around water.

We can all work together with vigilance and education to keep our children safe from drowning.


July 6, 2022 by Tamara Nash 0 Comments

10 Benefits Of Swimming For Kids

Swimming, whether in the pool or at the beach, is a pivotal activity for a child’s development.

The benefits of swimming extend to other areas of life and allow kids to socialise, play and explore with their friends and family. America’s abundance of public swimming pools, lakes, ocean pools, swim clubs and beaches provides kids with ample opportunity to learn to swim

Below are the top 10 reasons you should invest in teaching your child to swim. We encourage you to take advantage of the fitness and fun that comes with swimming!

(Related: Best Life Jackets For Toddlers).

1. More Confidence 

Confidence is a critical ability that all children need to develop to lead happy, fulfilling lives. For some personality types, this can be challenging. 

It can be especially tough for children who experience anxiety around water, often caused by a frightening experience or your anxiety about water expressed to them as a parent.  

Water confidence can be relatively intuitive for children with proper support.

For children, learning to swim will: 

  • Reassure them that they can explore water safely. 
  • Develop their confidence by expanding their comfort zone.
  • Push their boundaries in a controlled environment.
  • Equip them with a fun new talent and a socialising tool. 

If your child is too young to swim independently, they must remain in your view. Kids can quickly become excited and lose control of the water.

IMPORTANT! Always attend to children when they are swimming and follow these safety tips

2. Improved Focus

Teaching a child to focus is vital to helping them lead successful lives, particularly in an age of instant gratification and social media. Swimming is a skill that can assist, as it requires coordination and listening. 

Physical activity skills benefit kids by: 

  • Expending extra energy.
  • Honing self-discipline sills.
  • Developing focus and determination.
  • Improving fitness.

For evidence-backed tips on improving a child’s focus through activity, read here. 

3. Higher Cognitive Performance 

Exercise is also proven to help boost cognitive performance in children and adults. In addition to improved focus, the brain runs more efficiently when the body exercises.

How does this work? 

  1. The brain is an organ that requires blood flow like the rest of the body. 
  2. When you spend large amounts of time sitting (the way children do in classrooms), blood tends to move downward and settle at the feet.
  3. Raising the heart rate and moving limbs can increase circulation and send blood back to the brain, boosting cognitive performance.

Swimming allows you to teach your child about the human body and anatomy. 

EXPERT TIP. Consider including fun and simple diagrams on how muscles and bones work together or how the lungs function when swimming. We love these ideas. 

4. Improved Social Skills

Communication is a vital skill we need to live in the world. 

Learning to swim allows your child to improve social skills – mainly if this is through an instructor or group class.

When it comes to encouraging socials skills, remember the following:

  1. Anxieties: Kids will find socialising much easier when they feel confident in their abilities. Pool parties and days at the beach shouldn’t bring on feelings of anxiety – knowing they will be able to keep up will help your child to feel excited. 
  2. Questions: Children will naturally want to ask questions and find new games they can play in the water. A great benefit of swimming is the exploration and connection of meeting new friends. 
  3. Incentives: It can be helpful to incentivise kids to enjoy swimming lessons with plenty of rewards. Offer frequent praise and challenges to get them interested in practising.

IMPORTANT! Never underestimate the challenge of learning something new and frightening. Children should be encouraged to share how they felt and what they learnt after swim lessons. 

Other ways to improve your child’s social skills are here. 

5. Alternatives For Kids With Asthma 

Swimming is a superior exercise for the body due to its low impact on bones and joints. It can also be excellent for people with asthma and lung health. 

How does this work? 

  • Swimming improves the pace of breathing by training your inhale/exhale timing. 
  • It improves fitness in a humid environment, which benefits people with asthma.
  • Sports that let cold, dry air into the lungs, like running, can exacerbate asthma symptoms. 

IMPORTANT! Whilst exercise can strengthen lung function, it can also trigger an asthma attack. We recommend you always keep a close eye on any child with asthma, no matter their exercise.

6. Improved Physical Fitness 

Although a child’s caloric intake and expenditure should not be cause for concern, it’s never too soon to establish healthy fitness habits. 

Healthy habits are modelled from your behaviour as a parent, both in and out of the house.

Kids should learn from a young age that exercise can be fun and essential to their long-term health. The good news is that most children love playing in the water and are happy to do so for hours. 

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for multiple reasons: 

  • It works the entire body – all muscle groups are involved.
  • It supports cardiovascular fitness and cognition.
  • It can improve flexibility and strength at the same time.
  • It can be fun and exploratory – encourage kids to find new shells, meet new friends or create imaginary water worlds

7. It’s Affordable

There’s no getting around the fact that raising children is expensive, and finding extracurricular activities that are both fun and affordable can be a challenge.

Luckily, swimming does not always have to be in a traditional setting. It can be a fun outing on a small budget.

Many public pools or recreation centres have a small entry fee ($5-10) that allows you to stay for the entire day. You can arrange weekly, monthly or family memberships too. 

(Related: Best Pool Floats For Babies & Toddlers).

8. Higher Quality Sleep 

Getting the kids to sleep can be quite a battle! A long day of swimming is sure to do the trick – for both you and them.

Sleep is a critical part of a child’s development.

Many studies show that a lack of deep sleep leads to irritability, inability to focus, and even memory loss. Kids who have an adequate sleep also have stronger immune systems.

How does swimming improve sleep? 

  • The energy expenditure from swimming will help relax the body later in the day.
  • The social aspect of swimming requires energy and focus, which can be exhausted by the end of the day. 

IMPORTANT! Be sure to complete a swimming session at least 90 minutes before bedtime, so the body has time to relax, and kids can eat and digest their dinner. 

9. Better Mood

Plenty of things can ruin a little person’s day, but a consistently poor attitude could reflect the fact that your child has a need that isn’t being met. 

It’s essential to show compassion and attempt to understand why your child is upset, irritable, angry or hurt.

IMPORTANT! Infrequent physical exercise can lead to restless behaviour in your child.

Physical movement helps mood by: 

  • Regulating hormones, plus releasing chemicals like endorphins that help a child to feel content and at ease.
  • Lowering blood pressure.
  • Although you may not consider a child’s life very stressful, they can get overwhelmed just as easily as adults – exercise is a stress-reliever!

Fun, exciting exercises like these can help children release tension and connect with their playful side. Swimming allows kids to socialise and take a break from their routines.

10. Increased Safety

The best prevention for tragic accidents like drowning is ensuring your children have the skills to protect themselves in times of danger.

The good news is that most children will become accustomed to swimming incredibly quickly, even at a very young age.

The recommended age to start swimming lessons is 4.

However, some start as young as six months. 

EXPERT TIP! If your child isn’t thrilled with making a splash, you can help them learn the life-saving floating technique to keep them above water.

You never know when you might encounter an open body of water, or your children might wander and find one. Even if you don’t live near a lake or have a pool, equipping kids with the right mindset around water safety is essential.

Final Words On Benefits Of Swimming For Kids

Swimming should be at the top of your list if you are looking for a fun, affordable activity that the entire family can enjoy. 

Swimming is one of the best skills you can teach your child to ensure a lifetime of safety and happiness. It improves overall health, fitness, immunity, cognition, and social skills.

Time to get paddling!


July 6, 2022 by Tamara Nash 0 Comments

Can You Go On A Boat While Pregnant?

Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to stop living your life. You can go for a boat ride if you follow a few extra rules.

Remember that rules change depending on the trimester of the pregnancy that you’re in.

How To Prepare For Boating When Pregnant.

Expectant mothers must take a few precautions before going for a boat ride. Check out the list below to ensure your boat trip is enjoyable and safe.

  • Choose the right body of water. Sleepy lakes, quiet rivers and harbours are best. Avoid rough waters with strong currents and high waves.
  • Drive gently. Ask the boat’s captain not to drive fast or take sharp turns.
  • Choose the right type of boat. Going on a speedboat while pregnant is undoubtedly risky and best avoided. Instead, opt for a regular (read: slow) boat.
  • Wear a life jacket. Make sure that the life jacket fits you well. A normal life jacket may not fit around the baby bump, so make sure that an oversized version is available.
  • Warn your fellow boaters that you’ll need extra help getting on and off the boat. Ideally, one person on the boat should catch you while another stays behind you on shore to provide extra safety.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks. Pregnant women need to stay hydrated, so bring along enough water for the trip. Pack some snacks as well, in case you start tired and hungry.
  • Keep it short. Pregnant women can get tired quickly, so don’t overdo it. Keep the boating trip short, and take breaks often.

What To Do If You Start Feeling Sick While Boating.

If you start feeling unwell while boating, let the captain know immediately. He or she will be able to take the necessary steps to get you back to shore quickly and safely.

In the meantime, move to the area of the boat where you have a clear view of the horizon, then focus on staying calm and relaxed. Don’t move around too much, as this can worsen symptoms.

(Related: Top 10 Benefits Of Swimming For Kids).

Are Boats Safe For You In The First Trimester?

Nausea caused by morning sickness can be exacerbated by boating during the first trimester of pregnancy. The boat rocking can make it worse, so it’s best to avoid boating if you’re feeling nauseous.

EXPERT TIP. Ginger has been proven to relieve motion and morning sickness! Bring strong, natural ginger tea on board with you and have it on standby in case you feel sick.

Can You Go On A Boat When You’re 9 Months Pregnant?

Do not go boating when your due date approaches. If you go into labour while on the water, it will be very difficult to get you to a hospital. It’s best to stay on land in the weeks leading up to your due date.

(Related: Bring Babies On A Boat: Is It A Good Idea?)

When Is Boating NOT Recommended During Pregnancy?

If you experience pregnancy-related issues like preterm labour, it is best to wait until after your baby is born to go on a boating trip. The same goes for if you have a high-risk pregnancy.

In general, it’s best to check with your doctor before going boating while pregnant, just to be on the safe side.

(Related: How Old Do Kids Have To Be To Kayak Alone?)

Can A Bumpy Boat Ride Hurt The Baby?

Pregnant women frequently worry about what will happen if their baby bumps are knocked about during a boating adventure.

Your uterus is a muscle made to protect your baby. Small bumps are unlikely to cause any harm.

However, stronger impacts can be a different matter entirely. That means you should avoid high-speed boating and large waves; they can cause repeated shocks as your body is thrown up and down.

(Related: 7 Best Water Games For The Lake).

5 Precautions Pregnant Women Should Take When Boating.

Follow these five precautions to stay safe while boating during pregnancy.

1. Don’t Walk Around.

Avoid walking on the boat, as the high centre of gravity of your baby bump will make you less stable. Even the most graceful women find themselves frequently off-balance during pregnancy – even on dry land.

2. Stay In The Shade.

Stay under the shade to maintain comfort while boating in the sun. A great way to do this is using a retractable canvas system that provides extended shading for added comfort.

3. Stay Close To The Shore.

Don’t venture out into open waters. Go for a steady boat ride and drive slowly. Drop anchor a few hundred metres away from the marina and enjoy being close to shore.

4. Be Lazy.

Let everyone know that you won’t be available for routine tasks that typically come up when boating. Don’t wind winches, and don’t lift heavy gear.

5. Avoid Extreme Water Sports.

Water skiing, tubing and para-sailing are fun boat activities that you should, unfortunately, avoid. They can cause you to hit the water hard, belly first.


July 5, 2022 by Tamara Nash 0 Comments

How Should You Size A Life Jacket For A Child?

Choosing a life jacket for your child can be hard. There are so many different sizes, styles and features out there. It’s easy to get confused and make the wrong choice.

This article will provide you with everything you need to know about how to choose the right one and what products are available on the market today.

Why Does Your Child Need A Life Jacket?

Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in kids under 14.

Each year, the U.S. Coast Guard estimates over 500 boating accidents involving children under 12 years old. Over 50% of children wear life jackets while on boats, but wearing the wrong size could be dangerous.

Buying your child a life jacket is important because it will increase their chances of surviving if they fall into the water.

(Related: Best Life Jackets For Kids).

Choose The Right Life Jacket For Your Child’s Weight And Height.

A too-small lifejacket will ride up on your child’s chin when they are in the water, allowing them to go underwater.

A life jacket that is too big will be loose and allow your child to slip out of it. If your child is between sizes, choose a life jacket that can be adjusted to fit as she grows.

  • Infant: 8 to 30 pounds
  • Child: 30 to 50 pounds
  • Youth: 50 to 90 pounds

(Related: Best Life Jackets For Infants).

How To Properly Fit A Life Jacket On Your Child.

The best type of life jacket fits snugly but not tightly. The straps should be loose enough to allow easy breathing and movement, but not slack; you can test that by running your fingers beneath them. 

There should be no wrinkles or ridges in the fabric.

The life jacket should fit snuggly but your child should still be able to walk, run, sit down and play without difficulty. 

If the lifejacket has a crotch strap, choose one that fastens with a buckle rather than a side-release clasp.

If the life jacket has straps across the torso, they should be adjusted so that each is flat, not twisted.

If you choose a life jacket with buckles, make sure they are the zipper-type and that they come with instructions that show how to put on and remove the life jacket properly.

(Related: Best Life Jackets For Toddlers).

Choose a Life Jacket That’s Brightly Colored and Easy to See.

If you choose a brightly colored lifejacket, it will stand out in an emergency situation, allowing people around your child to set hem.

Choose The Right Type Of Life Jacket For Your Activity.

Make sure to choose a life jacket appropriate for the type of boat your child will be on. For example, choose a water ski or wakeboard life jacket if your child will be skiing or riding behind the boat.

 There are three types of life jackets:

Type I: Offshore Life Jacket.

The first is an offshore life jacket. This type is designed for swimmers who are far out at sea where there are large waves. They have foam core – like floatation devices that will support your head and keep your face out of the water.

Best for: Extended survival in rough seas, open ocean, or remote water where quick rescue is unlikely

  • Advantages: Designed to turn an unconscious person face-up; lots of buoyancy
  • Disadvantages: Bulky, not comfortable for extended wear

Type II: Near-Shore Buoyant Vest.

The second type is a near-shore life jacket designed for people in calmer waters such as rivers, lakes or calm shores. 

These jackets have an inflatable bladder on the front to support your upper body if you fall into the water. It also has two extra pockets which you can use to store things in, like your mobile phone.

Best for: Calm, inland water and most general boating activities where there is a good chance of a quick rescue.

  • Advantages: Many turn an unconscious person face up; less bulky than Type I
  • Disadvantages: Will not turn all unconscious persons face up; not intended for extended support in rough seas

Type III: Flotation Aid.

The third type of life jacket is a buoyancy aid. This is the smallest and lightest type of life jackets which are designed for water sports like canoeing or kayaking. 

These jackets are not designed for people who go swimming in open waters, but more for when you are out on the lake or river. You only have to put it over your head and fasten yourself onto a kayak or canoe.

Best for: Calm, inland waters only

Advantages: Most comfortable and lightweight; easy to wear for extended periods of time

Disadvantages: Most not designed to turn an unconscious person face up; not suited for rough waters or open seas

(Related: Top 10 Benefits Of Swimming For Kids).

Final Tips About Life Jacket Sizes.

You should know that not all life jackets are approved by the Coast Guard.

  • Teach your child how to swim and stay safe around water.
  • Always have a phone nearby in case of an emergency.
  • Keep a close eye on your children when they’re near water.