17 answers

Life Jacket Issue

My daughter LOVES to swim. The problem is that her life jacket strap (the one that goes between her legs) has rubbed a raw spot on her leg. Does anyone have any ideas on how to prevent that? The life jacket fits her perfectly it's just the strap that's the issue. I am too scared to just not buckle it because she likes to step off the ledge into the water and I am afraid that she will slip out of it. She is only two and half so she can't swim on her own. Thanks!

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Featured Answers

Have her learn to swim and don't rely on the flotation device. You will feel so much more confident having her around the water knowing that she can float by herself.

1 mom found this helpful

She's more than old enough to learn how to swim!!!! TEACH HER HOW TO SWIM and don't worry about a life jacket unless she's on a boat.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I have always bought our Life Jackets from Target, I get the Speedo brand and I have found that as long as the straps/buckles around the torso are tight, the one in between their legs can have a lil' slack, not a lot, but enough that it doesn't rub, so I suggest loosening it a bit.

You could also look into getting her a new bathing suit with the 'boy shorts' as bottoms? That might help with covering her skin and cut down on the rubbing? Target also has some cute 'boy shorts/bikini top' suits this year...they come with a coordinating short sleeve water shirt too!

***I disagree with Missy F.

Having the lil' kids in the life jackets while around the water is a MUST! Period. End of story. Too scary to think about otherwise. You could turn your back for a second and your kid could be in the water. The only time I have ever let any of my kids take theirs off (before they could swim) was if they were in the water with either myself or Dad or other adult.

Your daughter will eventually learn how to swim, that is a given...life jackets, IMO do not inhibit learning to swim, at least they haven't for any of my kids.

~We have a pool. I have 5 kids and 2 nephews who have all learned to swim in our pool. They all wore Life jackets at your daughter's age. They all got put in swimming lessons at or @ 3 yrs old and almost all of them could swim by 4 years old. My daughter who just turned 3 in Feb. is the last in line, she still wears her life jacket and will start swimming lessons this summer, she is a dare devil and can already go off the diving board and the slide and her 16 yr old brother has made it his mission to teach her to swim this summer, so that she will be the youngest yet (she has broken all the boys' records, walking, talking, tumbling, etc.) and also b/c she is the only girl and we all worry about her a bit too much and it will be a good feeling knowing that we are done with *most* of the worrying in the backyard ;)

Happy Swimming!

4 moms found this helpful

Those swim suits that have floats inside of the bodice are not safe and have been repeatedly recalled. They stretch too much and the kids sink down below the floats. One of ours almost drowned because it was our first time using it. The other one had a real tight fit and I thought it would be okay, it wasn't, it stretched too.

We did find that the arm floaties work very well. The kids were able to stay above the water and they are not restrictive. A different life jacket may be the right choice or putting a little swimmer pull up on her until she learns to swim. The padding will stop the irritation. You can wring them out and use them again since she won't be using them for....peeing.

At 2 she really is old enough to do swim lessons. Living in Florida where it's warm so much of the year makes it necessary for her to learn as soon as possible.

1 mom found this helpful

Have her learn to swim and don't rely on the flotation device. You will feel so much more confident having her around the water knowing that she can float by herself.

1 mom found this helpful

Swim lessons! Especially in Florida where we have water everywhere.

1 mom found this helpful

She's more than old enough to learn how to swim!!!! TEACH HER HOW TO SWIM and don't worry about a life jacket unless she's on a boat.

1 mom found this helpful

Maybe you can put her in shorts over her bathing suit. That will help with the strap issue. I agree with Missy F. =) Maybe you can have her "swim" a little bit with your help for about 10-20 minutes before you put her in the life-jacket. I spent just a little bit of time with my kids in the pool practicing swimming and then swimming to the step and back to me before I let them do the floaties and play on their own. I did this each time we got in the pool and they all learned to swim by the time they were three and four and we don't even own a pool. Just a thought. =)

1 mom found this helpful

Try getting her a tankini set that is a shirt and shorts.

Have you tried putting her in board shorts to swim? Another layer of fabric might help protect her skin.

What about getting something to wrap around the strap that's more cushiony?

Board shorts or get some neoprene to put the strap through (maybe look on tubing websites for replacement handles).

Have her wear little swim shorts. The material also helps provide sunscreen. I think I got them through the Leaps and Bounds catalog. I think that's a better option than not buckling the buckle at her age. Good luck.

My daughter was having the same problem and last summer I bought her a swim suit that looks more like a wet suit and it helped. I got hers at CWD kids catalog.

We have the Stearns brand Puddle Jumper. It is coast guard approved and there is not a strap between the legs. This thing is awesome! We got ours at Walmart, but I've seen them as Target too. Google them!

How about one of those puddle jumpers? You can see it at Target.

There are swimsuits that have built in floats, that fit better than life jackets and offer a bit more freedom. I would suggest swim lessons if she likes to swim that much. My daughter was swimming on her own at 9 months and diving to the bottom of the pool by 18 months. At age 2 she could swim an Olympic size pool. She is still young enough to easily learn to swim and give mom more of a bit of peace that she will be okay when going near the water. Of course never leave children unattended, even with float devices. My daughter is now 8 years old and can swim for hours. I taught her how to float on her back, tread water and to keep her eyes open and not worry about getting water in her eyes. She swims like a fish now and loves the water. Good luck and it's nice you have a daughter that loves the water.

Awe poor thing :( Is it possible to but a cushion of fabric on/around the strap itself? I do agree that learning to swim is ideal and am quite confident you're already working on that. And I'm sure once she is at the appropriate age to no longer wear a life jacket you will adjust according. But honestly even if my 2 1/2 y/o could swim on her own I'd still insist on life jacket at this age. Just because they "can" swim doesn't mean they don't get tired or accidents can happen. Especially if it's just the two of you in the pool. What happens if you fell ill or hit your head? Who would be there to help keep her afloat? You're doing the right thing Momma. I have seen the kind that are more of a suit that zips up on them like a bathing suit in walmart/target/toysrus perhaps give that a try.

Get her a bathing suit with boy shorts, or go get some board shorts. Both are sold at places like Target and Walmart. After swimming, put a little baby powder with aloe on it :)

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