We all love our floating lounge chairs, but are babies safe on inflatable floats? Let’s give that question a resounding, “No!” Inflatable floats for babies were designed only as toys to increase enjoyment in the water. They are not lifesaving implements and may create a false sense of security which could end up being dangerous.
The American Academy of Pediatrics actually issued a statement saying that parents should avoid all inflatable swimming aids for babies. The only proven method to prevent drowning is arms-length supervision by an adult who is paying very close attention. Fencing around pools and swimming lessons can certainly help too.
Experts also warn against neck rings. Yes folks, you read that correctly. These are inflatable rings designed for water wear that fit around your baby’s neck. While baby neck rings (It just sounds bad, doesn’t it?) don’t have any proven benefits, they do carry a certain amount of possible risks. Babies could slip out of their inflatable neck ring or a baby neck ring could actually cause strain or injury to a baby’s neck.
As long as they are used in tandem with vigilant adult supervision, inflatable arm bands are a little better than baby inflatables of the neck variety. While these also should never be relied upon as life saving devices, research indicates that they may provide some motor skill improvement in infants.