You have decided to go swimming with your child and as a good parent you have prepared everything you need to take with you. Like usual you pack your bag with sunscreen, towels, hats, sunglasses and bathing costumes. The fact that you are taking your child with you for the first time needn't make this complex. However most of us come to realize that there a a million and one concerns and questions running through our minds. Surely what goes for us goes for our child, right? Maybe not; If your child is very small you may want to hold them the entire time while on the beach. Maybe you should buy armbands - as seen on many children on the beach. Is your child too small for armbands? What is the appropriate age for armbands? Is a inflatable life vest a better alternative or even a life jacket?
To pick the right flotation device for your child there are a few considerations such as age, and weather your child already knows how to swim. Lets take a look at some of these considerations below:
Age of your child:
If your child is under the age of 6 months it is better to to enter the sea with your child even if you are holding onto them continuously. At this age babies cannot support their head alone, they also are at risk of hypothermia as they have not get developed the ability to regulate their body temperature. The safest thing is to stay out of the water and perhaps soak their feet in the sea at the shore line. Remember not to leave your child exposed under the summer sun as
For babies under the age of 6 months it is better not to take your child in the sea for swimming even if you continuously hold them on you. The reason is that at this age they cannot support their heads alone. Also if the sea water is cold is very risky for the baby, because he doesn't have yet the ability to regulate its body temperature. The only safe thing that you can do is soaking its feet for a few minutes on the edge of the sea while ensuring of course they are not exposed to the dangerous summer sun.
Lifejackets for children:
There are two types of life jackets for children. There are lifejackets wheels with seat and lifejackets without seat. For younger children, from 6 months and older who can support their head, the best is a life jacket with a seat. It helps the child to balance on water without sinking.
Trap: Using this lifejacket is a safe choice but you should also stand next to the child and the supervised it. If you lose attention, it might capsize by the waves and leave the jacket over it or get it into the sea.
The lifejacket wheels without seat is suitable for older children who have enough strength to hold it in their hands and move their legs alternately back and forth, without being immersed in it.
Trap: Because the jacket is used by children 3 years old and older if you lose your attention the child can easily pull itself into the sea. Also if the child goes ahead inside the beach and the water level reaches its neck, it is possible with a sudden leap that he will make while playing with his hands up without holding the jacket to be sinked.
Life jacket vest:
If your child is around the age of 2-6 years is better to choose a life jacket vest that gives him more freedom of movement. The device is considered the best and the safest as it is integrated with swimsuit and so cannot be removed from the child. Some of them have UV protection from the sun.
There are two kinds of armbands. The first type is the air arm bands and the second type is the arm bands of soft foam. The armbands are recommended to be used by children 4 years old and older who have some basic knowledge of swimming.
Trap: At this age, kids want to be more independent and try various sea games. Do not let children swim alone even if they wear armbands. Also do not allow your children to push each other in the sea. Do not let them dive with head especially if the sea has rocks.
Swimming boards and foam tubes:
The foam tube and swim boards used by 8 years old children and over, who know how to swim but still need a little help. These devices can be used flexibly by both adults and children and developing user’s confidence in the water.
Trap: For keeping this board and kicking his legs requires concentration and coordination. Therefore if he is distracted by bigger children can easily lose balance and panicked. If you are close you can encourage him to continue.
The ideal is to stay close to your child. Do not leave children under the supervision of other older children. If anything unexpected happens do not panic and seek immediate help.