A common question we get from parents is: Are floaties/life jackets supportive to the swimming performance of my child? The answer is no. We strongly feel it’s important to wean your children off of floaties & life jackets as soon as possible because they are a detriment to their swimming performance! In the many years we’ve taught lessons, we have seen a significant difference between a child who has not used floaties and one that has.
While floaties and life jackets can help keep babies and toddlers stay safe in the water, if they are used for a few years or more, they can hinder a child’s swimming progress, due to the fact that the child will get used to being vertical and having their head above the water. Swimming is a horizontal process, so children who do not use floaties actually learn to swim much faster since they are less resistant to putting their face in the water & to floating on their belly. The longer a child uses floaties or life jackets, the more vertical they are, & the longer it takes to break them of their bad habit.