Summertime is a fun and exciting season for children. With plenty of ice cream to eat, sprinklers to run through and bikes to ride, who wouldn't have a blast? Unfortunately though, all of this outdoor fun can sometimes lead to tragedy. Every year, hundreds of children die in drowning accidents in swimming pools, rivers and lakes.
Getting your children to wear their appropriate flotation devices can be a challenge since these life vests tend to hinder movement so badly and are so bulky to wear. "Floaties" which are worn on the arms only, are actually considered toys and are not enough to truly protect your child in the water. They can also be uncomfortable for children to wear since they tend to cause chafing of the skin around the arm area. So what's a parent to do?
Thankfully, The Coleman Company, Inc. has created a line of children's life vests called the Puddle Jumper, which blends the best of a life jacket and arm "floaties" to create a fun, comfortable, AND SAFE alternative for your child's water safety this summer!
The first thing that impressed me when I received the Stearns Puddle Jumper for review, was that this was actually a U.S. Coast Guard APPROVED Life Jacket. Until recently, I always thought that the arm floaties I wore as a kid were considered safe for a child in the water. Actually though, this is not true.
In doing some background research on children's water safety, I learned that if you really want your child safe in the water this summer, only have them wear a life jacket which has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. If they are very young, make sure that you are always within arm's reach of them too. The following should NOT be considered safe flotation devices for your children:
- inflatable tubes
- air mattresses
- inflatable seats and riders for baby's and toddlers
- swim rings
- wave surf boards
The Stearns Puddle Jumper was constructed extremely well and definitely had the quality of a full life vest, without all of the bulk that kids hate. It basically has two arm floaties which are attached to a solid piece which only goes across their chest. There is one sturdy buckle and strap across the back which secures it to their body. Because it actually slides onto their arms, you don't need all of the buckles and straps of a conventional life vest.
The Coleman Company also wisely thought to make this life jacket FUN for your children! They've created the Puddle Jumpers in a myriad of colors with many different caricatures or cartoon characters livening up these life jackets. I wasn't sure what Riley would think about her Puddle Jumper, but as you can see from the pictures below, she actually WANTED to wear it in the house and didn't want me to take it off of her!
I guess that proves that it's also very comfortable and allows for plenty of movement too, since Riley is ALWAYS on the go and doesn't like anything that will slow her down! Also, because the arm floaties can only rub against the chest piece of this life jacket, there isn't any risk of chafing your child's skin, either.
The Stearns Puddle Jumper is a TYPE V PFD and is to be used by children weighing 30-50 pounds. It is intended for calm water only, such as in swimming pools and inland water. The bright colors of the Puddle Jumper also help your child be more visible in the water. This life jacket is not designed to turn your child "face-up" in the water, so it is best if they have some swimming skills and/or you are within arm's reach of them while wearing the Puddle Jumper.
I am thrilled with the design of the Stearns Puddle Jumper! This is such a fun, comfortable and SAFE life jacket for my daughter, which will also help her build swimming skills and confidence in the water. Now, she will look forward to wearing her new "swim accessory" and we can have more fun than ever in the pool this summer...and we'll BE SAFE too!
More Puddle Jumpers from Coleman Stearns:
Disclosure: I received the Stearns Blue Shark Puddle Jumper from The Coleman Company, Inc. in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. This product review is based on my own personal experiences with this item and is completely honest and objective.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!