As a proud parent, you want to launch your child into a realm of new experiences, many of which are going to stick with them forever. Swimming is certainly one: it offers both protection and enjoyment, wherever water abounds, and it forms a key part of our physical skillset.
To make the learning curve a little less sharp, many companies tout swimming aids for children, claiming they’re a common-sense purchase as your son or daughter gets used to the pool. But how much truth lies within these essential claims for your cash?
The right kind of transition
A child, more often than not, will find the water scary at first. This period can last for weeks, months or years, depending on how naturally they take to swimming lessons. As soon as they’re comfortable, though, they discover what a joy swimming can be – all it takes is gentle support to prove their fear is ungrounded.
Swim aids are able to banish your child’s reservations about aquatic movement. Arm bands are the traditional starting point, helping a youngster focus on the sensation of the water and providing security. They are, however, quite limited when it comes to body position, leg kicking and movement around the pool.
The Mani buoyancy aid has a different, more inclusive approach. It is structured to get children in the correct body position (parallel to the water plane) and encourage leg kicking from the very beginning. The flexibility of the form and integrated handle offers multiple ways for the product to be held, supporting them through learning the foundations of all swimming strokes, on the front and back.
It’s vital they understand how posture, stamina and co-ordination align – just placing them in armbands, or a floating water ring, isn’t going to prepare them for this.
Function over flash
So many toys are built around bright colours, weird shapes and strange textures. Choosing such features for a play accessory is all well and good, but those same priorities shouldn’t be a clincher for your swim aid purchase. Some manufacturers opt for a quirky, superfluous design, rather than focusing on creating a robust swimming aid.
As a result, many parents waste money on kit that doesn’t function to a high standard. Instead of focusing on safety and learning, certain manufacturers prioritise the novelty factor – rubber rings, shark fins and other items that are designed more for play than progression.
Again, Mani swerves in another direction, by exhibiting the right properties for a child’s development. This is without compromising on cool colour tones, or a mould that’s pleasing to the eye; the difference is that Mani accommodates every stage of the learning cycle. As an example, you can easily grip the sides of the board, guiding your child in the water.
With so much pressure landing on a child’s formative years, you should avoid swimming aids that don’t cut the mustard. Choose a model that picks you up in all the best ways, to make the journey a smooth and enjoyable one for you and your child.