Swimming and kids can be a perfect combination. They enjoy splashing around in the water and having a good time. Whether you’re going to the water park, spending the weekend at Grandma’s pool, or taking swimming lessons, your child will need a good quality swim vest to stay healthy.
Before you go shopping for the right toddler swim vest, we’ll go over everything you need to tell. We’ll also send you some swim safety tips and list our top ten swim vest recommendations.
Floaties Vs. Swim Vests
Baby floaties swim vests, and life jackets are among the things available to keep your child healthy in the water.
The main distinction between a swim vest and a floatie is that the former is attached to the infant while the latter is not. Your child is buckled or strapped into a swim vest so that they cannot easily remove it.
Floaties are objects that a child grasps or slid onto their arms. They can slide off, particularly if there is water on them.
Swim vests are therefore much better than floaties, which are quickly lost in the water.
Life Jackets Vs. Swim Vests
Swim vests are used to help people learn to swim by allowing them to float. They add buoyancy to the learner’s body, allowing them to remain floating while focusing on their arm and leg movements. They’re usually smaller than a life jacket.
Toddler life jackets are designed to keep the wearer afloat by keeping their head above water. That way, even though they can’t swim, they’ll be able to stay alive before help arrives. Some swim vests can do this, but not all of them can.
In addition, an object must be authorized by the Coast Guard to be called a life jacket. In the meantime, while many are, a swim vest does not need to be approved by the Coast Guard.
How to Choose the Best Toddler Swim Vests?
There are a number of features to consider when choosing a swim vest for your toddler.
Your primary concern should be safety. When looking for the right swim vests for toddlers, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Always go for a reputable brand when purchasing a swim vest.
- Make sure your toddler can’t quickly remove the swim vest.
- Swim vests with extra closures, such as an underbody harness, are a good option.
- Check to see if your child’s weight can be supported by the swim vest.
- Never leave a toddler in or near water unattended. A swim vest is not a substitute for constant monitoring.
Ensure that the swim vest does not ride up around your child’s neck and is made of non-chafing materials.
Don’t buy a swim vest for your child that is too big in the hopes that he or she will be able to wear it longer. A swim vest that is too big will be uncomfortable at best, and it will detract from learning to swim. In the worst-case scenario, it would be risky.
Although most swim vests have a recommended age limit, double-check that your child’s weight falls within that range.
This isn’t just a question of proportion. Swim vests are made to hold a child of a certain weight buoyant in the water. If your child weighs more than that, he or she may not be able to float.
Most swim vests are made of neoprene or other man-made material. Check the label to make sure your swim vest can be washed and dried quickly.
Test the material thickness at the seams and the points where the closures are connected, as well. Make sure they’re thick enough to not rip or tear when used often.
A swim vest with a UVA/B cover will give you an extra layer of sun protection. This is important since the effects of early sun exposure can be felt later in life. When you’re a teen, a sunburn that blisters will double your risk of skin cancer.
The Best Swim Vests of 2021
Now that you know what to look for when buying a swim vest for your toddler, let us share our top ten picks with you.
Body Glove 13226-Monster Aquatic Monster Swim Life Jacket
An integrated and flexible shoulder belt with fast release clips at the back is included in this vest. This prevents your child from undoing and removing the swim vest on their own.
The simplicity of the integrated vest and armbands is ideal for teaching your child how to swim. It’s also not too restrictive, allowing them to enjoy their time in the water. Meanwhile, the soft material eliminates the “under chin rub” that some other vests trigger.
- The words “licenced by the Coast Guard” are written on the jacket.
- A wide variety of bright colors and patterns.
- In the heat, it dries easily.
- Wearable and comfortable.
- Can be bulky to store.
SwimSchool Swim Trainer Vest
The float pads on the SwimSchool Swim Trainer vest are positioned so that your child can automatically turn into the prone position. That’s an excellent spot for learning to swim.
When your child is in the water, an adjustable crotch strap keeps the vest from riding up, keeping them relaxed and secure.
The vest also has UPF fabric for parents who want to give their child a little extra sun protection. You can also pair it with kids swimming goggles to round out your child’s swimming gear.
- 98 percent of the sun’s rays are blocked by UPF 50 cotton.
- Padded shoulders for added comfort.
- It’s not too heavy.
- In the prone position, not every child enjoys or feels at ease.
Poolmaster 50566 Learn-to-Swim Dino Kid’s Swim Vest
This Poolmaster vest is as powerful as it is adorable when it comes to helping people gain trust in the water. It’s a neoprene vest with an expandable foam base that’s both light and comfortable.
The two sizes accommodate a wide variety of weights, enabling you to purchase the same color and style for children of various ages. If you have younger children who want to look like their older siblings, this is a major plus.
- For added comfort, the crotch strap is padded neoprene.
- It has a front zipper that makes it easy to take off.
- It has a lot of buoyancy.
- The chest area is not adjustable.
- The patterns and colors may not be as appealing to your child as those used on other vests.
Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket
The US Coast Guard clearance is written on the side of this Stearns Puddle Jumper. This makes it appropriate for any location that requires children to wear a USCG-approved unit, such as water parks and public pools.
The vest has a back buckle that prevents your child from removing it without assistance, and the closure strap is adjustable for a snug fit.
In the meantime, the armbands provide plenty of assistance for inexperienced swimmers.
- It’s appropriate for the beach, the pool, and boats.
- To avoid chafing, use a soft cloth.
- There is a wide variety of designs to appeal to children.
- It can ride up under the chin a little on smaller children.
Splash About Children’s UV Protection Floatsuit Swimsuit
This swimsuit swim vest’s innovative design allows you to add or remove floats based on your child’s skill and trust level. That means this swimsuit will last from the first time your child gets in the water, through their growing confidence, and until they are able to swim unassisted.
The floats’ placement around the waist frees your child’s arms and encourages a natural swimming position.
- Sun defence of UPF 50.
- Arms, legs, and the whole body are covered.
- This swim vest is incorporated into the swimsuit, so even a kid Houdini wouldn’t be able to remove it.
- It’s difficult to remove quickly for a diaper change.
Megartico Kids Swim Trainer Float Vest with Swimwear
These Megartico swim vest and swimwear combos could check all the boxes on your wish list if your toddler’s style is important to you. It’s also available in a boy’s edition!
The swim vest can remain in place as your child plays in the pool’s water slides, thanks to its compact and lightweight foam and a flexible crotch strap. Meanwhile, the vest’s rear-facing zipper prevents your child from removing it without assistance.
- The price is fair.
- Arms are free thanks to the comfortable build.
- The designs are adorable.
- According to some customers, the sizes are very small.
Splash About Kid’s Learn to Swim Go Splash Swim Vests
The designers of the Splash About Go Splash swim vests compensate for the lack of adjustability by offering three sizes. The smallest scale, designed for 1- to 2-year-olds, accommodates children weighing 22 to 35 pounds. As a result, it’s a great option for smaller toddlers that aren’t quite ready for other swim vests.
This swim vest is said to be particularly lightweight, and reviewers have praised it for taking up very little room in their luggage.
- Material for the edging is soft.
- Neoprene with a UPF of 50.
- Colors and patterns that are appealing to children.
- Won’t last long on a fast grower.
Swimming Safety Tips
You now know how to pick a high-quality toddler swim vest after reading our recommendations. However, having the best equipment isn’t enough; you still need to be knowledgeable about swimming safety. These pointers will assist you in ensuring that your child has a healthy time in the water.
- Never leave your child in the water unattended.
- Encourage your child to avoid practicing keeping his or her breath underwater.
- Teach your child to jump into a pool with their feet first.
- Allowing your child to reach the water without a swim vest is not a good idea. Maintain consistency and insist that they wear it at all times.
- Make sure your child understands that they should not go into the water unless they are accompanied by an adult.
Keeping Your Baby Safe in Water
Wear one of the best toddler swim vests you can find until your child is a confident and powerful swimmer. Choose from our list or use the information provided to make your own decision.
Keep in mind the swimming safety guidelines to make your child’s time in the water as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.