Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Best Flotation Device for a Child

Flotation device for children

Here’s why parents (and kids!) love our Sea Squirts PFD

1. It’s US Coast Guard Approved.

The SwimWays Sea Squirts PFD is a US Coast Guard Certified Type III Personal Flotation Device just for kids. Buoyancy technology allows for successful balance of your child’s center of gravity, giving him or her greater control and stability in the water. Straps across the chest and between the legs ensure a snug fit, keeping the flotation aid in the correct position.

2. It’s comfortable.

The quality neoprene outer cover and inner fabric liner are extremely comfortable, offering freedom of movement and comfort for continuous wear in and around the water. The cute, flexible back fin is appealing to kids and naturally folds flat so they can sit comfortably in a boat or chair.

3. They want to wear it.

Sometimes they just don’t want to wear a flotation device; that’s where the Sea Squirts PFD with its flexible fish fin comes in. So suit ‘em up for added peace of mind and let their imaginations run wild!

The experts agree!

“The Sea Squirts PFD is simply the best flotation device on the market for a child” - Mario Vittone, former U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer and learn to swim expert.

Click to learn more!

What parents are saying:

simplemoms_SeaSquirtsPFD

We sent samples of our Sea Squirts PFD around the country to real parents, here’s what they had to say about it:

“Talon could not wait to hit the beach in his blue Sea Squirts PFD. Honestly; he spent the first two days wearing it around the house, chasing his sisters because he loved it so much! While he thinks he’s pretty cool with his fins, I’m happy to know he’s safe near the water!” – Stacey, thesimplemoms.com

“We bought a life jacket for him before our day trip to Destin, but he did not like it…it almost seemed like he felt he was being smothered in it. With the Sea Squirts life jacket, he has plenty of room around his neck to feel comfortable, while still keeping him safe.” - Lynn, thephotographerswife.com

Proper Pool Care for Babies and Children

by Mario Vittone

Just because the water looks blue and clear doesn’t mean it’s in the best shape for a swim. There are water conditions besides blue and clear that can have a real effect on the healthy use of the water. Here’s what you need to know to make sure your pool water is at its best for all your little swimmers.

Baby in a swim diaper at the pool

pH Balance and Disinfectants

pH is an indicator of water balance, which is an indicator of pool health. 7.2 to 7.8 is the safe range, but when bringing your kids in the water, especially infants and toddlers, you want the water to be ideal. The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) recommends 7.4 to 7.6 to keep eye irritation at a minimum.  If your child’s eyes are stinging, they won’t be having fun and that makes learning much harder. With pH test strips, you can easily check your pool before each swim to make sure levels are optimal. The pH level also affects how well your disinfectant does its job of killing bacteria.

No matter which disinfectant you use for your pool (chlorine is the most common), having those chemicals at the proper level is also very important. Most people believe that when they smell chlorine there is too much in the pool, but that irritating chlorine smell is caused by the presence of chloramines, often caused by too little free chlorine in the water.  When we go swimming, we bring any lotions and oils and even the sweat and dirt that’s on our skin into the water, and too much of it can overload the disinfectant in the water. Aquatics expert Dr. Tom Griffiths says, “If the free chlorine levels are not sufficiently high to oxidize these nitrogenous wastes, the free chlorine combines with them to form noxious chloramine compounds.”

To reduce the chance of excessive chloramines in your pool, be sure to keep disinfectant levels where they need to be. “Whenever someone calls me with a chloramine problem, I tell them they should maintain a free residual of 0.5 ppm higher than usual. This higher level of chlorine usually does the trick, says Griffiths. “Another remedy that is rarely used but very effective is to enforce soap showers prior to swimming. A soap shower will remove excess body oils and sweat and greatly reducing the amount of body waste going into the pool. Some pool chemists claim that if everyone showered prior to swimming, it would reduce the chlorine demand by 50%.”

How and When to Test

Know your system, and know the maintenance demands for it. “For most people it’s a time issue- they hire someone so they don’t have to learn the proper chemistry and maintain it. I use a professional kit and test for alkalinity, pH, free and total chlorine, and calcium,” says Kevin Richardson, owner of Clear Water Pools in Virginia Beach, Virginia. “Pool owners can also take a water sample to a local pool company- they’ll test it and give you a printout with exactly what you need.”

But you’re going to want to do at least minimal testing yourself to make sure things are safe for your young swimmers. Richardson recommends using a test strip daily to check water balance, and at a bare minimum doing so once a week. The NSPF recommends taking a water sample to a professional for testing every four to six weeks. This ensures that your at-home assessments are accurate. Salt water systems can be harder to keep balanced, so be sure to check these per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Check the Temps

Until children are a year old, their ability to regulate body temperature may not be fully developed. So water temperature is very important when bringing your babies in the water. Dr. Howard Reinstein, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, believes that water temperature should be around 84 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit for babies to be comfortable.  Watch them closely for signs of shivering and get them out if it begins.  Too hot can be a problem as well- hot tubs over 100 degrees are off-limits for children under 5 years of age. They can easily overheat in those conditions so be aware of temperatures in your pools and spas.

So you see, it’s more than just clean and clear that matter when keeping your pool safe and healthy for your family. You want the water warm enough and balanced correctly to make sure that you get the most out of your pool without it taking too much out of you. If you want to know more about proper pool care and how to maintain your pool or spa at its best, the National Swimming Pool Foundation partnered with the American Red Cross to develop an excellent online training program for homeowners that contains a wealth of information about pool chemicals and filtration systems, testing and cleaning, and a very good section of general pool safety matters that all parents should know.

Learn More

For a discount code and a link to the NSPF Home Pool Essential course (I took it!) visit the National Drowning Prevention Alliance website.  Even old hands at pool care will learn a thing or two about safely operating a backyard pool.

Do you have any pool care questions? Join the discussion in the comments below.

Mario Vittone - Water Safety Expert

Mario Vittone is a nationally recognized expert on water safety. His writing on aquatic risk and drowning prevention has appeared in magazines, websites, and newspapers around the world. Mario is a former Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmer and instructor and has lectured on boating and water safety across the United States. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and the Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation.
Mario’s Blog | Facebook Page

5 Reasons for a Spring Float Pool Float

Here’s why we know you’ll love our pool float just as much as we do!

1. Durability. Unlike cheap PVC floats, the SwimWays Spring Float has durable fabric-covered inflation – it’s in a league of its own! The #1 reason people buy a Spring Float is because it stands up for itself! From happy jumping kids to lazy lounging pets on the Spring Float Paddle Paws, you know it’ll be there for you throughout the pool season.

2. Relaxation. The soft, soothing mesh hammock bed and oversized inflatable pillow of the Spring Float provide you with the ultimate luxury for your water-full experience. Other members of the Spring Float family include the SunDry with above surface flotation, the Papasan for easy conversation, the SunSeat for the best in sit-up style, and the Recliner for a first-class lounging experience. Indulge in total comfort… you deserve it!

Spring Float SunDry Lounger a spring float that doesn't let you get wet

The Spring Float SunDry Lounger provides above-surface flotation.

3. Easy set-up. Featuring Jet Valve technology; the Spring Float inflates and deflates quickly and easily – no air pump required. Within minutes you’ll be luxuriating in soothing mesh that envelops your body. Customer service tip: Pinch the base of the valve stem as you inflate your Spring Float, this will allow air to pass through as you inflate your float.

4. Ultra-portable. The Spring Float can go just about anywhere you go!  Perfect for travel and a great size for your suitcase, take your favorite float with you. The patented Inner Spring twist-and-fold action turns your deflated Spring Float into a compact disc for easy storage in the included carry bag.

How to fold a Spring Float

5. Match your outfit – Or your mood. We know you invest a lot of time when it comes to selecting the perfect bathing suit, so our Spring Float line includes bright, vivid colors, bold graphics and patterns to compliment your personal style – no need to try them on under horrible fluorescent fitting room lighting.

Spring Floats come in many different styles and prints

Find a Spring Float at a retailer near you or visit the SwimWays online store:

Shop Spring Float