Choosing the correct water safety gear for kids - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Choosing the correct water safety gear for kids

Folks enjoying the swimming pool on the Fourth of July. (Source: WBRC video) Folks enjoying the swimming pool on the Fourth of July. (Source: WBRC video)
Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video
HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) -

Many people will be hitting the water to stay cool this holiday weekend. While fun, it could be dangerous for your little ones if they don't have the right type of safety gear.

The important thing to know - there are life jackets made specifically for children.

"There's two types of life jackets you can use," Austin Hillis said. Hillis has been a life guard for seven years.

Hillis says parents can use the standard life jacket, but he recommends puddle jumpers for kids.

"Puddle jumpers [are] like the standard floaties. It has the two arms, two big pads on the arms. It covers the chest," Hillis said.

Rebecca Ogburn used to use arm floaties for her son, but she soon switched to the puddle jumper.

"The arm things, their whole body can sink and it's just their arms floating. I kind of learned that on my own by getting the arm things and watching my son go under water, which was very scary," Ogburn said.

Peter Winslett hasn't had that problem using arm floaties for his 6-year-old, but he said there's one action that's even better than depending on floaties.

"I think the best thing is to get her more swimming lessons," Winslett said.

Another thing to look for when you're picking up a life jacket or floatie for your child: Make sure it's U.S. Coast Guard approved. You can look for a stamp that indicates the USCG approval.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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