● Puddle Jumpers are dangerous. They are not coast guard approved for pools; the coast guard approval just means that they can be used around natural water...but are not even intended for swimming in lakes. Also, the “Learn to Swim Device” on the label is misleading and unfounded.
● Toddlers cannot survive in the water in a vertical position and that is the exact posture that artificial flotation devices promote and train.
● Unskilled children should not be encouraged to jump into the water and taught that an adult will always be there to catch them.
● Once a child can walk, he or she, with effective instruction can learn to swim and save him or herself in the water.
● There are times when behaviors and beliefs become established and popular, even though they don’t actually work. Through sheer acceptance and inertia they get handed down from one generation to the next and persist for a surprisingly long time despite their lack of effectiveness.
“Puddle Jumpers” are personal flotation devices for young children. They are not Coast Guard approved. They are typically a one-piece device that includes individual arm bands and a middle section designed to help children float in water. They have become increasingly popular in recent years.
Companies that produce these items (Speedo, Stearns, etc...) claim they are “learn to swim devices,” yet there is zero evidence to support this claim. Parents who have lost children to drowning almost unanimously believe that the use of puddle jumpers contributed to their toddlers’ death. Swim instructors and athletic trainers consistently support the knowledge that the use of flotation devices, like a puddle jumper, hinders and delays a child’s learning to swim process). So, why are these companies allowed to claim them as “learn to swim devices”?