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Another life jacket question

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have always used life jackets for my kids when they are little. We have a complex pool that is deep at the 'shallow' end and we go to lakes a lot in the summer. No boating or anything. The pdf I have for my 2 year old is this one.




My concern is, it seems to actually turn her on her front. She's slipped twice and both times it seemed like she was being turned face down. Obviously I snatched her up straight away so I'm not sure what would have happened next. Could the jacket be too big? She's tall and skinny and weighs 25#. When I bought it for my son it was the smallest fitting of all the available options which is why I chose it. Or maybe it is defective. Can anyone recommend another, safer option for this situation? Thanks 

post #2 of 6

we use the Stearns Puddle Jumper.  it turns them on their backs, but sometimes annoyingly so- i have heard people complain that it interferes with learning to swim; however, i feel pretty good about how safe it actually is.  it's coast guard approved & is considered a legitimate pfd.  they have them on amazon & other places as well. 

post #3 of 6

I did a ton of research on life vests when we boated in the Caribbean when our son was between 18 months and now.   He is 6yo now and on PTF three or four.


I am guessing you are in Canada by the link you provided.  At first glance, I could see how that back collar might tilt a little one forward.


Now, my experience with shopping in the US is none of the companies guaranty that toddler/youth life vest will turn a swimmer on their back/face up.  (There were some for adults but they were high specialized)  Point being, I settled for the best I could find with full knowledge that face up was not a certain position.    I don't want to start a debate but a false sense of safety is the reason many Red Cross instructions are against regular (as opposed to boating) use of PDFs for kids as a crutch before they learn to swim. 


Are you able to adjust it around her torso and the crotch strap?  Both of these together should keep in from riding up around the ears. 

post #4 of 6
I really like the puddle jumpers. I think they are rated for30+, but I used it on my large 25lb 2yr old last summer. A little big, but my dd doesn't want to be held.
This has been much easier for my dd to "swim" in, aka doggie paddle. Life vest have just been impossible for my kids to swim in. My lo is isn't ready for the arm wings.

If I was going boating and planning on being in a boat and not intending on going in the water, I would do the typical life vest. If I'm just hanging out on the shore, ocean or lake, I put my kids in a puddle jumper.
post #5 of 6

From the USCG site -


Check for proper weight range, comfortable fit, and especially a stable face-up position in water. Infants and children are difficult to float in a face-up position because of the distribution of body weight and the tendency for them to struggle or attempt to climb out of the water. Some infants and children float best in one style of vest, while others will float better in another. If one does not work well, try another style.


and a link to the site, hope this helps



post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone. They have 'puddle jumpers' at Canadian Tire too! I think I'll get her one. They're really cute looking!. http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/5/SportsRec/5/KidsSports/KidsSwimming/PRD~0811114P/Coleman+Puddle+Jumpers.jsp?locale=en 


I agree that no floatation device is best, so the kids can get used to that feeling but when you have two kids and a deep pool there are times you need to know for sure that they are not going to sink like a stone! 

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