April 12, 2012

The Best Floatation Vest (Jacket) for Toddlers

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We moved to Hawaii a couple of months ago and as you can guess my 2 year old daughter spends a lot of time by the pool. As most of you know a floatation device is a must for kids her age, so I ran to the store and bought the first one I saw thinking they all have to be the same, right? Well they are not.

The first one I bought had a zipper in front and every time she was in the water the zipper would go in her face making it basically impossible for her to enjoy swimming.  It was clear I had to buy a new one and I started looking for a floatation jacket with a side or back closing.

The second one I bought had a zipper in the back with a detachable bottom piece and I have to admit she was pretty happy with it even though the jacket was too bulky and was limiting her moves and turns.  The set was called the “Flotation Swim Trainer”, but I don’t think it was really a trainer jacket.  I had noticed that she wouldn’t make any effort to swim when she was wearing it since the jacket was basically keeping her up afloat all the time. You can find more mom opinions and ratings about this model at One Step Ahead. 

I wasn’t really looking for a new one to replace the Flotation Swim Trainer, but then my neighbor suggested the “Power Swimer”. After listening to her rave about what she called the “best floatation jacket ever,” I ran to Target and bought it for Elizabeth and oh my …what a difference! 
The Swimways Power Swimr is not just a floatation jacket but it is a Swim Training System. The jacket itself is a lot lighter than anything else I have seen. It has a strap that goes between the legs which prevents the vest from coming off.

  In addition it has two more adjustable straps that go over the shoulders. There are two adjustable cords on the sides to help adjust the vest size and create a snug fit for your little one.

What really makes this device different from the rest are the Styrofoam pads in the front and back hidden pockets that keep your child afloat.

There are 5 pads in the front pocket and 4 in the back. As your kid gains confidence, you remove a section of foam (one at the time) which makes your little one work a little bit harder next time when they are in the water. The results are amazing!
My neighbor’s kids never took a swim lesson. Her 4 year old was swimming by herself and her 2.5 year old was roaming around with only 4 plates. Elizabeth has been using the jacket for 2 weeks now and I can already see the difference.  I have to say, this product has exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend it. You can find it your local Target store for about $24… a fraction of what you would pay for swim lessons and definitely worth the peace of mind it brings.

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