As a professional lifeguard, one of the most common questions I get from parents is, “what’s a safe flotation device we can use at the beach or pool this summer?” There is a lot of confusion around this topic and most parents don’t realize that the right or wrong flotation device can mean the difference between life and death. Any person (including children) who cannot swim, is a weak swimmer, or is fearful around water should wear an appropriate flotation device.
Buying a flotation device for your child is a daunting task, you walk into a store and are presented with seemingly infinite choices which can range from blow-up inner tubes with the latest and greatest cartoon character, to water wings, noodles, and life jackets.
A number of parents opt for the ever-popular water wings, which many of us grew up wearing. While these may appear as a good option because of their popularity, they’re really more of a toy than a safety device. Water wings are not an approved flotation device and can easily slip off, restrict the movement of a child’s arms, unexpectedly leak air, and can actually hinder a child’s attempts to swim. Another popular product is bathing suits that have flotation built into them, but like water wings, the floaties can ride up or slide out.
So the question remains, which one do you choose?
The answer comes down to one simple question that parents need to ask: is the flotation device both tested and approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG)? When I ask parents this I usually get a strange look. “What does that even mean?” When you are looking for a safety flotation device for your child, you need to look for the USCG stamp of approval (see pink image below).
Yes, that usually means I recommend life jackets – and no, they are not just for boating.
Before moving forward, it is important to mention that regardless of the device you choose, it should never be a substitute for constant supervision of your child around any type of water.
When making their selection, parents need to determine the intended purpose of the device; if it is solely for fun and recreation in a controlled environment with constant supervision, then the toy devices mentioned above may be acceptable to use as toys. However, if the purpose is to add an additional layer of safety to ensure that a child remains safer in the water, look for that USCG stamp that assures it is a safety enhancement. When properly selected and used, life jackets will provide a secure tight fit, good buoyant flotation which supports the user, and not greatly reduce arm movement.
When shopping for these types of devices, parents need to be cognizant of a few factors:
USCG -approved devices have a designated weight range assigned to them. Parents should choose one that fits their child’s current weight. This is important to ensure a secure fit and the proper amount of flotation.
There are five types of USCG approved flotation devices. Each type has different advantages and disadvantages which you can read about here. Parents should choose a device based on the planned activity and the design of the device being used. Types 1-3, and some type 5 are vest-style devices and can be suitable for children depending on their weight class, but type four devices are not suitable for weak swimmers or children, as they are designed as throwable devices, like life preserver rings.
Make sure the device being used is in good working order. Ensure that the device is not missing any buckles, discolored, or ripped/torn anywhere.
Parents often ask if life jackets restrict the child’s ability to learn to swim or inhibits a child’s “natural swimming instincts.” The answer to that question depends on what the true purpose of the child being in the water is. A child needs time and proper instruction to learn the coordination skills involved in swimming efficiently. So long as your child is in the water with a qualified swim instructor in a controlled environment they shouldn’t require a life jacket. But let’s say you take the same child to the beach or to grandma and grandpa’s pool just for fun. That environment is less controlled and much can happen in the blink of an eye. For fun around the water, an approved flotation device is the way to go, especially if you want to safeguard for if your child accidentally falls in or suddenly can’t touch the bottom.
When looking at water safety and safer swimming in a broader context, having a proper flotation device is only one step in ensuring a safe water experience. No matter where you choose to swim, nothing is more effective than having your eyes on your child at all times. Even if you are swimming at a location where lifeguards are present, keeping constant watch over your child is the best way to keep them safe. Last year I was lifeguarding for a pool party and a parent came up to me at the end of the party. He said that he always felt like his kids were in good hands and he didn’t need to always keep an eye on them. Though I appreciated the confidence in our skills, I explained to him that lifeguards are responsible for watching everyone and we are human so errors can happen. Always watching your children in any situation is the best solution. If lifeguards are not present, a designated “water watcher” should be used. This person’s job is to keep an eye on everyone in the water and make sure everyone stays safe.I often hear from parents that their child will not wear a life jacket and this is a valid argument. If you can’t get your child to wear the life jacket, then obviously it can’t help them. In cases like this encourage parents to think creatively when it comes to this issue. When teaching a water exploration lesson to toddlers last week, I noticed that a parent brought in a flotation item that had a cartoon character on it and the child was excited to wear it in the water. My initial thought was that this was going to be another unapproved toy. To my surprise, the USCG stamp of approval was on the device. As an example, these images of a Puddle Jumper alongside this article show something both “fun” and USCG approved – and sometimes something as simple as the right color or fun cartoon character can make a child interested in wearing the life jacket. I encourage parents to put the time and effort into finding a device that is both approved by the USCG and that your child will want to wear, because they do exist.
The National Drowning Prevention Alliance released a position paper in 2009 on the concept of layers of protection. Do not just rely on one safety step, such as flotation devices or supervision alone, the more safety steps are taken will limit the risk of a tragedy. Other important factors include choosing a safe location to swim, teaching children and adults swimming and water safety, knowing what to do in an emergency, and preventing unapproved access to the water. Every safety step counts for a safer summer of swimming!
Update 7.13.16 | Thanks to TheScientificParent.org reader Ashley who pointed out that puddle jumpers are not approved personal flotation devices for use by children in Canada. Transport Canada advises when parents are choosing a water flotation device for their children they should look at the label to ensure it has been approved by Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard or Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Alga, A. & Collins, M. (2014) Best life jackets for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Lucie’s List, Retrieved from http://www.lucieslist.com/lucies-list-blog/2014/06/18/best-life-jackets-for-infants-toddlers-and-preschoolers/
American Red Cross (n.d.) Home pool safety: Maintaining a safe environment around your home swimming pool. Retrieved from: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/water-safety/home-pool-safety
Balint, V. L. (2014). Do water wings prevent drowning? Raising Arizona Kids. Retrieved from: http://www.raisingarizonakids.com/2014/03/water-wings-floaties-help-prevent-drowning/
Boyse, K. (2010). Water and pool safety. University of Michigan Health System. Retrieved from: http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/water.htm
National Drowning Prevention Alliance (2009). Layers of protection around aquatic environments to prevent child drowning. Retrieved from: http://ndpa.org/resources/safety-tips/layers-of-protection/
REI (n.d.). PFDs for kids: How to choose. Retrieved from: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/kids-personal-flotation-device.html
United States Coast Guard (2014). PFD selection, use, wear, and care. Retrieved from: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg5214/pfdselection.asp#faq
Adam B. Katchmarchi
Adam B. Katchmarchi is a doctoral student at West Virginia University in the Coaching and Teaching Studies Department. His research focuses on drowning prevention education and best practices of managing risk around water. He has worked with hundreds of parents over the years teaching water safety and swimming to children and adults. He is an American Red Cross Instructor Trainer in Swimming and Water Safety Instruction and Lifeguarding Instruction. Adam is currently on the Board of Directors for the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and will begin his term as Vice President of the organization this summer. He is an active advocate for enhancing safety around all bodies of water. http://twitter.com/drownalliance
The Top 10 G-Rated Movies of All Time: A Cinematic Journey for All Ages
G-rated films are magical. They appeal to children and have a timeless charm that can captivate audiences of all ages.
From breathtaking animation to heartfelt storytelling, G-rated movies uniquely evoke emotions and leave a lasting impression.
We’ve gathered a list of the top 10 G-rated movies that have stood the test of time and continue entertaining viewers worldwide, according to IMDB.
Top 10 G-Rated Movies of All-Time
- The Lion King (1994)
At the top of our list is Disney’s “The Lion King.” This animated masterpiece has captured the hearts of millions. The film’s memorable characters, powerful soundtrack, and the gripping story will have you humming “Hakuna Matata” long after the credits roll.
- Toy Story (1995)
The groundbreaking “Toy Story” was Pixar’s first feature film and the first entirely computer-animated movie. This heartwarming tale of friendship between toys Woody and Buzz Lightyear is an engaging adventure filled with humor, emotion, and unforgettable moments that still resonate with audiences today.
- The Wizard of Oz (1939)
A classic film transcending generations, “The Wizard of Oz” is a timeless tale of friendship, courage, and the power of imagination. With its iconic songs, whimsical characters, and vibrant Technicolor world, this magical journey to the land of Oz will forever hold a special place in the hearts of movie lovers.
- Mary Poppins (1964)
Julie Andrews’ magical performance as Mary Poppins has delighted audiences for decades. With its memorable songs like “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “A Spoonful of Sugar” and whimsical adventures, the musical shows that anything is possible with a little imagination.
- The Sound of Music (1965)
This beloved musical, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Austrian Alps, follows the heartwarming story of the von Trapp family and their governess, Maria. “The Sound of Music” offers a perfect blend of unforgettable songs, captivating performances, and an inspiring tale of love and resilience during a time of turmoil.
- Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a visually stunning masterpiece with unforgettable songs and mesmerizing animation. The film’s timeless story of love, understanding, and redemption has captivated audiences for decades.
- The Little Mermaid (1989)
“The Little Mermaid” is a Disney classic that inspires viewers to explore new worlds and follow their dreams. The film’s catchy tunes, lovable characters, and captivating animation tell the story of Ariel, a curious and free-spirited mermaid who dreams of life on land.
- Aladdin (1992)
Disney’s “Aladdin” is an enchanting film that takes viewers on a thrilling magic carpet ride through the mystical city of Agrabah. The film’s memorable characters, witty humor, and iconic soundtrack have made it a beloved classic that still manages to charm audiences with its tale of love, adventure, and the power of true friendship
- Finding Nemo (2003)
Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” is a heartwarming tale of a father’s unwavering love for his son. This visually stunning underwater adventure, filled with lovable characters and important life lessons, showcases the importance of family, determination, and the bonds that connect us all.
- Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Rounding off our list is another Pixar gem, “Monsters, Inc.” This imaginative film takes us into the world of monsters, where best friends Mike and Sulley discover that laughter is more powerful than fear. With its clever humor, engaging story, and endearing characters, “Monsters, Inc.” is a true testament to the power of friendship and creativity.
G-rated movies are beloved by audiences of all ages for their timeless stories and unforgettable characters. These top 10 G-rated movies have left an indelible mark on the hearts of movie lovers worldwide and continue to be cherished for generations to come.
What Are The Best Colors For Family Pictures Outside?
Picture this: It’s a bright summer day, you’re wearing your best clothes, and your family has gathered together outside for some pictures. Now, what color is best to wear?
This post is meant to give you an idea of the best colors for family pictures outside. It can be tricky trying to figure out what colors will best show the best family pictures outside. Because there are so many different colors, it can be difficult to find out what will best show off your best features.
This is a hard question because every person has his or her best color for photos, which means that everyone should come up with their best colors for pictures outside.
Best colors for outside family pictures.
A color scheme for family photos that works in any season is navy, cream, and tan, which are timeless and work well in any weather. The cream and navy colors go well with the spring pastels and bright greens. They also look good with the green grass and trees in a park.
When it comes to color schemes, most of them have one or two bright colors mixed with one or two “neutral” colors. The outfit’s main color is coral. Navy, gray, white, and other neutral colors help to ground and balance the bright coral in this outfit. They also help to make the coral look less bright.
Wine, cream, and gold
If you want to take a holiday family picture, this color scheme will work well. When we think about holiday family photos, the colors red and green are often the first things that come to mind. For pictures of Christmas, go to the site. However, if you do plan to use them, a wine, cream, and gold color scheme will put you right in the Christmas spirit.
Pink, tan, and cream
The colors that people like the most are pink, cream, and tan. Photos of the family on the beach are good for. Here’s what you should wear on a trip with your family: for It is very simple and monochromatic. The soft, pale pink color of this family set is almost like a neutral. There are a lot of shades of tan and cream.
It’s a good idea to use peach, blue, and denim in your family photos in the springtime. Peach goes well with the pastel-colored flowers that bloom in Northeast Ohio in the spring. As a neutral, jeans keep the outfit from becoming too bright with the new spring colors.
This blue, white, red, and blue color scheme feels right for a Fourth of July family picture. Because red is so attention-grabbing, it can be hard to work within photos because of this. I think it’s great for making eye-catching family portraits. If you want to use red in your color scheme, think about where your meeting will be. It would be best if the backdrop was neutral-colored, like at the beach or in city downtown. This color scheme is why even though there is a lot of greenery, your picture might have a Christmas feel.
Things to consider when picking the best color of clothes for family photos
As soon as you figure out which colors are best for the season, narrow them down to just a few based on where the shoot is taking place.
When it comes to urban themes, bright colors work well, but they don’t look good in a field or with trees and grass around them.
In the same way, don’t use pale pastels when you’re in front of a light background, such as the wall of a building or structure. This goes for dark backgrounds, too.
The colors of your home:
Look at the colors in the place where the photos will be shown. If all you see are muted and soft colors, there’s no need to be bold with your clothes. There is no doubt that the opposite is true, too.
The skin tone:
They look best with warm colors like brown and yellow and warm shades of red and orange and brown and yellow and orange and reddish-purple and reddish-purple and cream.
If you want to look good, don’t wear jewel tones or icy shades. Make sure you don’t wear orange and red near your skin.
Top tips to get the colors right for family pictures!
A color that doesn’t match one of your family members’ skin tones but you still want to stay in your chosen palette? Choose a top and pair it with a bottom from your chosen palette.
Consider looking at store displays for ideas. Typically, the windows show off the season’s most fashionable clothes, as well as the best colors in the clothes.
In order to add a little color to your neutral palette, have one member of the family wear a brighter shade, or even a different shade.
It’s important not to go overboard with your desire to add color.
With different textures and accessories, like belts and scarves, you can make the look even more interesting.
Instead of matching, try to add something to each other. This isn’t just true for colors, but also for different styles of clothes. So, if most of you are wearing jeans, add a dress or two to make things even.
As parents, it is important to choose clothes that are not only in the right colors but also the most comfortable. So you won’t have to deal with kids who are fidgety and angry when they want to undress.
When you are choosing the best colors for family pictures outside, it is best to look at what other people are wearing in the photographs. You do not want your group to look bland or have an entirely different color scheme from everyone else in the photos. This could cause confusion over who belongs with whom.
If you have a hard time picking the best colors for family pictures outside, maybe even the best colors for family photos in general take a look at the best color combinations for group photos.
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