A child tried to "eat" - yes I stated "eat" a swimming pool float so now swimming aids have been banned with the exception of lessons in a jurisdiction in the UK. Apparently, the child almost choked to death.
Also, should an inflatable float be treated differently from solid floats?
BACKGROUND - I AM VERY BIASED
I invented a swimming pool aid and always, always against the advice of my executive team state do not leave alone with children. I am a huge advocate of water safety especially with children.
I am very biased in many ways - I love swim floats so much that I invented one so I wanted a more neutral opinion. I also have had close friends who have lost children's lives to swimming - IF a swim float were with them sadly they may be here today.
I think floats and any other safety device for children are very important. But I've got to say if the child was supervised like they should have been, it would never have happened. So the ban is crazy, but who ever was in charge of the child, maybe they should be banned.
I'm actually not a fan of swimming floats for kids. The house I owned when my kids were growing up had a large built-in pool in the yard. Even though it was surrounded by a chain-link fence and boxwood shrubs, I wasn't comfortable. I started all of my kids in swimming lessons at 9 months old. Yes -- 9 months old. And they were not allowed ever to use flotation devices until they were older and much stronger swimmers, then I let them have floating pool toys.
We always had company around with their kids, I watched a whole lot of those kids who were comfortable floating around the pool literally forget they couldn't swim and walk right down the steps and into the pool with nothing to keep them afloat. Needless to say, these kids didn't know how to swim.
I remember two weeks before I gave birth to my second child literally diving into the pool to pull out a little girl who had done just that -- walked into the pool without her floats even though she couldn't swim. The current from the pool return pushed her to the deep end of the pool and she was laying face down on the bottom within seconds. We all were fine, but I never let floats in the pool again -- even for my friend's kids -- unless everyone in the pool area could swim on their own.
For what it's worth, a very dear friend of mine lost her young son in the backyard pool. So this is also a subject near and dear to my heart.
I greatly appreciate you sharing your experiences. I am a strong advocate of not leaving children alone especially with pool floats - you both confirmed my beliefs. I needed that affirmation and I greatly appreciate your contributions. I will continue to shout the need for safety in swimming pools. Thank you very much!
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