Summer may be coming to a close, but there’s still time to get out and enjoy some watery adventures. If you’ve got smaller kids, swimming can be one of the most fun and enjoyable things to do this time of year, but it’s also one of the most dangerous. Making sure that you have the proper safety gear for your child will leave you free to splash and frolic, while worrying less about something bad happening (but it doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep an eye on your kids anymore). Whether it’s boating, water skiing, or plain old swimming, having a U.S. Coast Guard certified life jacket for younger kids (especially those that aren’t strong swimmers) is a must. The Sea Squirt Life Jacket from SwimWays not only provides the element of safety that’s needed, but it makes kids actually look forward to wearing their life jacket.
By taking a fairly boring and standard item like a life jacket and putting a creative twist on it, SwimWays created comfortable, fun, and good looking personal flotation devices that kids love to wear (which is a lot easier than forcing it over their resisting bodies). If your child has ever pretended to be a sea creature while in the water, then they’ll love putting on a Sea Squirt that looks like a blue dolphin, pink dolphin, black orca, or orange clownfish. While the high quality neoprene looks great and will last a long time, the inner fabric layer softly cradles sensitive skin. Colorful fins not only look good, but they also give parents (or rescuers) a great place to hold onto while folding easily enough to allow for comfortable sitting. A sturdy, oversized zipper makes putting the vest on fool-proof, with heavy duty straps and clips completing the entire U.S. Coast Guard Type III-certified package.
If you are picking a life jacket based on what looks the most fun and that your kids will love to put on the most, then the Swimways Sea Squirt is probably the best choice to be found. That being said, if most of your water activities take place at a water park or a pool with a slide, you’ll probably do best looking elsewhere. Even if the fin isn’t going to get in the way of the slide, I can’t see too many lifeguards allowing this type of life jacket. So, if you’re looking for something entirely universal that you can use every time you are near water, this probably isn’t the best fit for you. The Sea Squirt does make a lot of sense for everything beyond that, though. My son loves wearing his (even when we’re not at the swimming pool), the fin is a great way to give kids a little bit of help while they’re swimming without getting in their way, and keeping an eye on your little swimmer is much easier when they stick out a bit more. Overall, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages if you do any real swimming with your kids.
With a retail price of $50 or less (depending on size, and if you want to spend the time to shop around), it is around the same price as most life jackets of any quality, and a lot more fun. Check out the SwimWays website to find sizing information. Also, if you want something that is adjustable to your child’s swimming ability and that will help make learning to swim easier, check out the Swim Assist vests. They have the same styling, with a little less flotation assistance that can be reduced as kids become more confident in the water.
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Sea Squirt Life Jacket for free from SwimWays in consideration for review publication.