Life Jackets For Toddlers, United States Coast Guard Approved, What Does This Mean?


Whenever in a swimsuit our three-year old child is fearless! She splashes about, chases waves, and giggles in pure delight. She keeps her nostrils as she “dunks” herself, after that she jumps-up to “shock” united states… a fresh rendition associated with peek-a-boo game. While I’m thrilled that she actually is spunky, confident and wants to explore, nonetheless… We wonder… is she safe? As a parent we focus on a lot of heartbreaking tales about Moms distracted just for an instant, often sitting at only an arms-length of her kid, the kid drowns; a horrific accident; a reminder that drowning is frequently silent and un-dramatic.

I have a Puddle Jumper strapped around my child’s upper body (an improvement associated with well-know water-wings or inflatable armbands that keep kids afloat in the water), but is it enough? The Puddle Jumper is a U.S. Coast Guard authorized, kind III individual flotation product. When I continue to question about my child’s safety we become fascinated, so what does “U.S. Coast Guard Approved” suggest? It seems impressive, like a prestigious endorsement. Something that is the owner of this press must signify the merchandise is a good one and can, consequently, keep my child secure. It was my reasoning once I bought the Puddle Jumper.

However now since the word “endorsement” echoed through my head I became wondering just what the phrase “U.S. Coast Guard Approved” really implied. My free-associations towards word “endorsement” conjured-up uncomfortable images: governmental recommendations, which I rarely trust; TV-ads featuring public numbers, or worse, Hollywood stars endorsing services. Yikes! Have actually we been too naive? Have actually we thoughtlessly accepted an “endorsement” supply by the U.S. Coast Guard? Have actually we place my child in danger?

What Does It Mean: U.S. Coast Guard Approved

That we to trust as “the expert” about kids and water safety? That we to go to since the expert how accidents take place and exactly how to prevent all of them? Who’s rightly esteemed and which possesses enough qualifications to talk from the grave nature of my concern… the breath-of-life of your kids, our youngsters, my child? We admit, in my situation the usa Coast Guard was the sole agency that stumbled on mind, not because I’d in person examined their stability.

To help ease the anxiety that my free-associations were conjuring-up, in other words. my developing distrust about an “endorsement” supply by the U.S. Coast Guard and an “endorsement” widely used by merchants which offer, and for that reason advertise, the Puddle Jumper, we had a need to know exactly just what the “endorsement” implied.

I became surprised once I discovered that the Coast Guard was willing to indicate a “best” life jacket. Reading further, but I found that the “best” individual flotation product was explained in mere a generic means along with conditions attached.

The “best” one, claims the Coast Guard, is:

  • The main one you are willing to put on!
  • The one that saves your life each and every time it’s needed.
  • The one that fits your preferences!

In really after that part the Coast Guard voiced a vexing issue: “The perfect life preserver, lifejacket, or PFD (individual flotation product) has not yet been created.” Not the usa Coast Guard was a definitive one-stop, end-all and be-all expert.

Further, we discovered that with a certain life jacket “endorsed” as “U.S. Coast Guard Approved” comes an attached “believe Safe” pamphlet. The pamphlet is an integral component of the endorsement. Once I bought my child’s Puddle Jumper I’d not see the pamphlet.

The stamp-of-approval as well as the “Think Safe” pamphlet equals the total meaning of: U.S. Coast Guard Approved. The main one can’t be divided through the various other.

The “Think Safe” pamphlet is a list of problems that the Coast Guard connects towards endorsement of a certain individual floatation product. Making use of the Stearns Puddle Jumper for instance: The Stearns Puddle Jumper is Coast Guard authorized…

  • If kid putting on it really is 30 to 60 lbs.
  • If water is calm and/or if body of water is an inland body.
  • OR If there is certainly a good chance for quickly rescue in or around the human body of water.

Also, regarding children together with choice of a PFD the Coast Guard provides more advice:

  • You must instruct the kids how-to correctly put on a PFD.
  • The PFD must fit snugly on a child.
  • The purchased PFD must certanly be tested right after acquisition: in a pool, and on the child who can be putting on it.
  • PFDs aren’t babysitters; a grownup should be current.

You Have To Show The Kids How Exactly To Correctly Use A PFD

The Coast Guard knows that children panic when they instantly end up in water. The suddenness associated with autumn causes all of them to go their arms and legs violently which makes it challenging float properly in a PFD. As the PFD keeps the child afloat, it could perhaps not keep a struggling kid face-up. We remembered reading an anecdotal tale concerning the Stearns Puddle Jumper; a parent had a “just-learning swimmer” and she said, “She (the child) had to learn in the first couple of times (of using the Puddle Jumper) utilizing it… that she’d need to stabilize herself maintain her face out of the water.”

The PFD Must Fit Snugly On A Young Child

To check on for a great fit the Coast Guard advises choosing the child up by the shoulders associated with PFD. Since the Puddle Jumper won’t have a shoulder-section i possibly could test drive it by choosing my child up by the chest-piece associated with Puddle Jumper, after that continue and carry out the snug-fit test. In any case a child’s chin and ears should not slip through the flotation product.

The Purchased PFD Should Really Be Tested Soon After Purchase

The Coast Guard cites well-known. They remember that children are offered in many sizes and shapes, and for that reason, simply because a PFD works for one infant or kid doesn’t mean it will benefit another very much the same. The Coast Guard consequently urges that PFDs be tested right after acquisition: test in a pool and with the kid who can be putting on the PFD. They urge parents and guardians of children to test for three things:

  • Right Body Weight Range
  • Comfortable fit
  • (and particularly) a reliable face-up place in water.

PFDs Aren’t Babysitters

The U.S. Coast Guard reminds parents and guardians, more often than once, to prevent keep a child unattended on a dock, on a motorboat or in water, even if the child is in a PFD.

Summary: Lessons Learned

It absolutely was good and directly to reconsider my mindless acquisition associated with Puddle Jumper. As the Puddle Jumper is an excellent item, I’d merely bought the “advertising hype”on the tags: “U.S. Coast Guard Approved.” I’d uncritically reliable an “endorsement” supply by an unknown expert, in other words. the U.S. Coast Guard. The blind trust we exercised in purchasing the Puddle Jumper left my child vulnerable because I became unaware of my role and obligation about how to properly make use of the product that I’d purchased.

U.S. Coast Guard Approved products are great, but, see the attached “believe Safe” pamphlets!


Resource by Kathryn K Slade


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