No matter how hard we try to discipline our children and tell them numerous times to behave, kids will be kids; toddlers will be toddlers. They may behave for a few minutes if you are lucky enough but when near water, pool area or maybe at the beach, it is just hard for them to contain their excitement.
As parents, of course you are the happiest when you see your child filled with excitement but let’s be honest, it is hard not to worry once they get over rowdy and over excited. It can be really contradicting because we just want them to be safe yet we’re taking something from their childhood by worrying too much.
So just to ease our worries, we make sure to provide them with the best safety measures that we can give them. For swimming outdoors, for example, we make sure that we give them only the best life jackets for kids available in the market. This is to ensure that they have both: safety and enjoyment.
Things to Consider when Purchasing a Life Jacket
- A lot of things need to be considered when choosing a life jacket for toddlers, kids & babies, because this personal flotation device (PFD) is an essential tool in saving one’s life. Here are the things we should consider to make sure we are using the right one for our kids and toddlers:
- TYPE I: Offshore Life Jacket – used where water is rough and unpredictable; it is an effective flotation device yet uncomfortable wear. Most importantly, it is hard to find one suitable for a child’s size.
- TYPE II: Near Shore Buoyant Vest –used for close to shore excursions and great for inland water that is calm where rescue is also quick. It is less bulky compared to type I. This type can also turn an unconscious person’s face up
- TYPE III: Flotation Aid – used for water that is calm only. This type is the lightest among all types, so it is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. It is the least buoyant, that’s why whenever your child is wearing this type, he/she should always be supervised by an adult. You can use this type where rescue is immediate because it is not capable of flipping an unconscious person on his/her back.
- It should be the right size for your toddler or kid and has enough buoyancy to support them in the water
- It should be approved by the US Coast Guard. Check for the approval logo to make sure that the product has met the safety standards.
Styles of Life Jackets Toddlers & Kids
• Inherently Buoyant – made of floatable foam or neoprene that requires little maintenance. It also requires no action for the wearer to work.
• Inflatable – automatically deploys upon submersion in water or can be manually inflated. It requires extra maintenance and inappropriate for activities that involve frequent water entry. Not recommended for children under 16 years of age and non-swimmers
• Hybrid – is a combination of buoyant material and an inflatable chamber that requires frequent maintenance checks. This is not suitable for all water activities, and less bulky. Child sizes of this type are also available
Important Features Of A Good Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
• Padded head support: to save life and keep a child from drowning, it is important to keep his/her head above water so might as well look for a life jacket with a padded head support
• Grab handle: to assist retrieving the child out of the water immediately
• Crotch strap: to ensure that the PFD stays in place and does not lift off the child’s body
Best Life Jacket for Toddlers
1. Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Infants
Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket is the perfect piece for your toddler, a type II life jacket with sea level buoyancy of 7lbs and a product that has been approved by USCG. It also has a quick release buckle over entry zipper for added security. This life jacket did not only meet safety standards, it is also available in high visibility colors so you won’t lose track of your toddler while he’s having fun.
2. Body Glove Paddle Pals Motion Hologram Learn to Swim Life Jacket, The Safest U.S. Coast Guard Approved Learn-to-Swim Aid
Keep your child safe even while helping him learn to swim! It’s made possible by Body Glove Paddle Pals Motion Hologram Learn to Swim Life Jacket with attached arm bands for teaching kids to safely learn to swim and a safety shoulder harness that prevents our toddlers from being able to remove the lifejacket on their own. This type III jacket fits toddlers between 30-50lbs and is equipped with adjustable chest strap and quick release rear safety buckle. Surely your toddler’s comfort will not be sacrificed because it’s made with a durable polyester material and multi panel design for superior comfort.
3. Stearns 3000004731 Puddle
4. Zeraty Kids Swim Vest Life Jacket Swimming Aid for Toddlers with Arm Bands Floatation Sleeves Age 1-9 Years/22-50Lbs
Secure your child’s comfort, enjoyment and safety with Zeraty Kids Swim Vest Life Jacket Swimming Aid for Toddlers with Arm Bands Floatation, recommended for children ages 1-9, and to those who weigh 22-50 lbs. It is made from soft, flexible 2MM neoprene for premium softness and stretchability to keep the body warm while ensuring comfort. Most importantly it is made to secure your child with its double adjustable strap to keep it from sliding off the body and arm bands as well to fix the balance helping your child feel confident and safe while swimming. Adult supervision is still required at all times because this product only offers buoyancy assistance.
5. Stearns Child Classic Series Vest
6. O’Neill Child Superlite USCG Life Vest
7. FLOWT AK-1 Life Jacket – USCG Approved Type II PFD
8. Gnar Kwik-Dry Neolite Flex Life Vest
Best Life Jacket for Kids
1. Hardcore Water Sports Life Jacket Vests for The Entire Family | USCG Approved | Child | Youth
2. Rrtizan Children Portable Inflatable Life Jacket Snorkel Vest,Swimming Life Vest
You can relax and take it easy with the Rrtizan Children Portable Inflatable Life Jacket suitable for 5-14 years old kids. It is lightweight and can be easily packed with just a book size when deflated. Inflating it wouldn’t be a problem as well because as fast as 10 seconds it can be fully inflated with your mouth. This is a lifejacket designed for both learners and good swimmers. You can also manually adjust the length through the buckle according to kids’ weight and height. It also has a waist strap you can adjust for comfort and safety.
3. Stearns Kids Life Vest | Youth Hydroprene Life Jacket | 50 to 90 Pounds
Let your kids have fun in the water with Sterns Kids Life Vest, a US coast guard approved design which is specially-fitted for children 50-90 lbs. It has two adjustable chest straps and a zipper to ensure a tight fit at the pool, beach or lake, so they can enjoy swimming without worries. It’s also made from lightweight Crosstech PE flotation foam and a soft, flexible hydropene shell for enhanced ease of movement.
4. Stearns Youth Boating Vest (50-90 lbs.)
If you’re looking for a lifejacket that provides safety and comfort at the same time, you can check Stearns Youth Classic Series designed and specially-fit for kids weighing 50-90 lbs. This life jacket has an open-side for breathability and ease of movement while swimming and playing. It comes with 3 adjustable 1-inch buckle straps for a secure fit. Your kids can enjoy using this US coast guard approved design for boating, tubing and swimming.
5. Stohlquist Youth Fit Life Jacket
If you’re looking for a quality life jacket for a reasonable price, then this Stohlquist Youth Fit Life Jacket is just for you. A USCG approved jacket that comes with three buckle front entry that you can easily adjust to perfectly fit kids between 50-90 lbs. in weight. You can see your kid enjoy because his movements will not be constrained because of the sculpted foam paneling and its thinner back panels, which also help eliminate interference with seatbacks. It has a 200D nylon outer shell and liner with hanging loop so it’s easy to store and dry.
6. Rave Youth Nylon Personal Flotation Device (Blue/Yellow) Young Person Life Vest
Do you have a kid who just loves water activities? RAVE’S Youth Universal Nylon Life Jacket is your perfect partner for a variety of water sports activities. It best fits kids between 50-90 lbs., with large armholes, definitely perfect for active kids, allowing more room for arm movements. It is made from durable nylon with soft foam core for comfort. A type II life jacket and USCG approved with 3 sure-lock buckles for proper safety that will keep parents at ease.
7. O’Neill Youth SuperLite USCG Life Vest
8. Airhead Girls Trend Vest
A great life jacket for watersports, with 3 adjustable body straps and quick-release buckles is available in vibrant colors under Airhead Girls Trend. It’s USCG approved type III life jacket, that not only helps in flotation but also keeps your kid comfortable. It’s made from soft woven polyester shell with lightweight Poly-E foam inside, that keeps their arms from chafing, so they can wear it for longer periods of time with comfort. The materials used in this product are the finest available including UV resistant 200 denier polyester and lightweight quick-drying neolite for hassle free storage.
We cannot trust a lifejacket alone, because our kids being near water means there are possible dangers and accidents that can occur; but we can always prevent it. Prevention is always better than cure. So here are some safety tips for you and your kid/s:
- Always have an adult nearby. Kids and toddlers should be within your arms’ reach at all times, losing sight of them for a split second would be very critical.
- Fasten all the zippers and secure buckles properly to make sure it perfectly fits your child; try to fit the life jacket in a dry land first.
- Always check the water’s depth if possible, you don’t want your child to dive into a shallow pool or water and get hurt .
- Try the float test. Take your child with the life jacket on in the shallow end of the pool, and put them in the water face down. The life jacket should flip them on their back.
Life jackets save lives but we cannot rely on it 100% of the time, it is just a device that provides buoyant assistance. It is helpful but the responsibility of our child’s safety still lies on us or the guardian assigned to take care of the kid. We must always be alert, and follow some safety tips to prevent any accidents from happening. Knowing about the types and styles of floatation device is a must for parents, to help themselves as well in choosing the right one for their kids. It is better to check more reliable sources available in the internet for product reviews and safety tips we can apply whenever we have outdoor activities.