Find the best fit for your child: Arm Floats, Noodles, or Kickboards?
The first time your child explores being in water is always an exciting new experience for both you and your young one. It’s important that they become familiar with the different sensations and get comfortable in this new environment. But before you jump in, what kind of floatation aid or equipment should you prepare?
If your kid is just starting to discover water, arm floaties can allow their body to be fully submerged, with just their head comfortably above the water. This allows them to properly explore floating while being mobile, without a parent or guardian holding them.
However, prolonged use of arm bands may cause your child to develop bad swimming habits, as it can cause them to adopt an undesirable vertical swimming position which may take time to correct in future. Also, it is important to ensure that your child does not become overly dependent on arm floats as it may give a false sense of security which can be dangerous when in the water.
These flotation aids are recommended for children 2 years old and below. Be sure to get arm discs as they are puncture-free and the level of buoyancy can be adjusted when your child is more confident in the water! Check them out here.
These silly looking floats are as helpful as they are fun, especially when beginning to learn to swim. They provide support while allowing your child to balance horizontally without restricting arm movements. With noodle floats placed under their armpits, kicking and blowing bubbles are easily encouraged which can quickly build their confidence and independence in the water. Noodle floats are great for children & adults who are beginners. However, with all floating aids, make sure they are used in moderation. Get you noodles here!
Kickboards are a great tool for kids to have whether they are just starting on their swim journey or already on their way to being the next Schooling. These floatation devices allow kids to adopt a horizontal position in the water while providing sufficient support. With arms stretched, holding the front of the board, the swimmer’s legs, hips and ab muscles take charge, allowing your child to build strength in their lower body. This is great for improving your kids kicking while maintaining a streamline position. Kickboards are great for all ages, kids and adults too! We recommend these for ages 3 and above. Make sure to choose dense kickboards instead of light, foam boards. Find them here.
Regardless of what you choose to assist your child in kick starting their water exploration, it's important to remember that your child should only use aids as a way to improve their swimming, and not as a crutch. Floatation aids are not a 'one-size-fits-all' so be sure to check with your child's swim coach to see what's the most suitable. If your kid does not have a coach yet and you are looking to further your kid's swimming skills, formal swimming classes are great in building confidence and developing correct strokes & habits. Sign up for your trial swimming lesson here!