My daughter was very excited to try out this product as it meant a trip to the swimming pool. She adores the water and really seems to enjoy swimming. I explained to her what the float jacket was for and she was quite happy to put the jacket on over her swimming costume. Usually when she ‘swims’ I have to hold her body to keep her safe, which restricts realistic swimming movements. With the float jacket, however, I simply had to hold her hands and she was able to kick her legs as she would if she were swimming by herself. This allowed her more freedom of movement in the water which I think will help greatly when she learns how to swim properly. It gave her an idea of how her legs move under the water in order to propel herself across the swimming pool, whilst keeping her torso upright, and her head above water.
The more time my little girl spent in the pool, the more her confidence improved. At first she clung on to my neck, then she realised that she could hold my hands and would still be safe. By the end of the session she was asking to swim by herself. The confidence the float jacket gave her was wonderful to witness. She wanted to swim across the pool for the whole hour instead of the usual jumping in and splashing.
The float jacket seemed to make my daughter lean forward as she found her balance in it, as the buoyancy the jacket offers is not what a childs body is used to. Once she adjusted to it though, I think it put her in a good position for swimming.
Learning to swim can be quite scary, as there is a lot of co-ordination involved, but the float jacket appears to ease the child in gently (and the parents, as you don’t have to let go so soon in the teaching process). The removable floats mean that as their confidence and ability increases, the number of floats can decrease, which is like a visible sense of achievement for them. They can see that they are improving by the number of floats that have been taken out of the jacket. This can only help them gain confidence. The fact that there are 16 removable floats means the child can get used to their own buoyancy gradually. This will be a great feature for more nervous children, as they can reduce the number of floats at a pace they are comfortable with. I think it would be quite empowering for a child to see all the floats out of their jacket.
Another plus point is that the float jacket simply needs rinsing in clean water after each use. So no need for any special washing, just a quick rinse and hang it up to dry ready for next time.Overall, I would say that this product is a great way to improve water confidence and to help a child learn how to swim. I would highly recommend it to any mum!
The Splash About Float Jacket is available from their website for £27.99 in two sizes: 1-3 years and 3-6years