Reasons to Not Put Your Child in Water Wings
- It is harder for children who have worn water wings to learn to swim
- These children are typically not comfortable putting their faces in the water. Water wings prevent children from going under water. Learning to swim requires children to have their faces wet. Only then will their feet be able to float to the surface and only then will they be able to propel themselves. But it all starts with the face. If the child is constantly in some type of flotation device, their faces will never get wet; and therefore, they will not be comfortable in the water, which makes learning to swim a fearful and scary event.
- Children learn to kick incorrectly. If a child has spent time in these devices, they eventually learn to kick and move themselves around the pool. However, they are learning bad habits. The kick they teach themselves is a running type motion where they bring their knees up to their chests. It is a successful kick for water wings but this type of kick will not propel a child once they are in a true swimming position.These children need to be re taught how to kick.
- Children’s arm motions develop incorrectly. Children begin to pull themselves around the pool. But the device inhibits full arm rotation. The arms reach out to the sides instead to reaching and pulling in front.
- Water wings teach children to swim with their faces out of the water. Since swimming requires the face to be in the water, these children are missing out on the natural swimming process. Children that are comfortable going under water and that are given the chance will teach themselves to swim.
- Children raised with water wings are afraid to be in a pool without them. And they have good reason to be afraid. The skills they have taught themselves to maneuver through the water with water wings will not help them stay afloat without them. They will not be able to swim and will most likely end up in a predicament where they don’t have the skills to help themselves. This is extremely dangerous.
- These children are more likely to jump in a pool without their flotation devices on. In their minds they think they can swim. Or they forget they don’t have them on and jump in.
My suggestion is simple. Hold your child in the pool. Let them play on the steps or where they can stand. If they tumble and go under, that is great. Smile and put them back on their feet. Have them jump to you. Let them go under. Getting them use to being fully wet, head to toe, is important. Let their natural ability to have fun and explore new things lead them to new skills.