Floaties – Puddle jumpers, water wings, ring floaties, neck rings. We believe they all have one thing in common:

They each contribute to child drownings.

We believe this is how:

All of them automatically put children in a vertical position in the water and that is the drowning position. It’s the exact opposite position to the life-saving, horizontal position that learning to float on their backs and then to swim teaches them. Puddle Jumpers teach children’s muscles to remember that drowning position, so that when they get into water, their bodies will automatically get into that position, whether they have the device on or not. This makes drowning faster!
They all teach children to bicycle their arms and legs, in order to propel through the water. This is commonly known as treading water, but it expends huge amounts of energy and kids cannot keep it up for long enough to get rescued or save themselves. They tire out in less than a minute and will then drown.
All of these devices prevent kids from learning to reach their arms out in front of them for any swimming stroke and from putting their heads in the water to help them get into a horizontal (swimming and breathing position) in the water.
Puddle Jumpers contribute to water phobia because they don’t allow much water on the face and therefore don’t allow children to become used to the water being on their faces. If the water does hit their face in an emergency situation, the child is more likely to panic and freeze and then not be able to help themselves.
All of these devices create a false sense of safety for the child when used in the pool, during swim or play times. The child thinks they can swim as they have built confidence in the water (because they have been wearing the device every single time they are in the water). They then don’t know how their own bodies react in the water without a flotation device on and they don’t make the connection that the device is what keeps them floating and not themselves. They think that they are floating on their own. So, when the opportunity arises for them to get into water (even when they aren’t supposed to be in it), they are much more likely to do so without the device and without a parent, thinking they can swim on their own, when they really can’t.

This false sense of safety does not commonly happen when flotation devices are only used in open water, most likely because when they aren’t using a device at the pool (which is most children’s learning to swim place), the child learns about what their own bodies can and can’t do in the water and they realize they can’t float or swim on their own yet.
All of these devices create a false sense of safety for adults. Adults tend to not be as vigilant around the water when they put their kids in these devices. So, as an example, during a break when a parent might be attending to another child, their little one may have their device off temporarily and because the parent has trained themselves not to have to be as vigilant, they have a lapse in supervision for a few seconds. In that time, the little one can easily end up in the pool without the device that holds them up in the water and can drown! It only takes 30 seconds! A young child CAN and they often DO sneak off when you are even briefly distracted!!!
None of these devices are Coast Guard approved except the Puddle Jumper.
Puddle Jumpers are Coast Guard approved but at the lowest level possible-below life buoys, which are only meant to throw to someone and quickly pull them out of the water. Puddle Jumpers are not reliable as a safety measure in any water that is not completely calm. They are marketed as a “swim aid”, but NO device is a swim aid.

Flotation devices of any kind should never be used as a swim aid because of the reasons above.

Instead, children should learn to float on their backs and then learn survival swim techniques, as well as always having one-on-one touch supervision (a parent or adult never being outside of an arm’s reach of a non-swimmer) in and around the water.

It has become very popular for parents to use flotation devices in places they were never meant to be used (like the pool), thinking that’s what keeps the kids safe. But it doesn’t! During the time they are in the water, the devices keep them floating, but we believe they also teach them all the points above.

Most child drownings happen when it’s not swim time-meaning they happen when kids sneak back to the pool without you, after swim time is over, and that means they won’t have the device on at the time they drown. If they learn what their bodies can and can’t do in the water by not using the devices, they are much less likely to sneak back to the water, because they will know by their experience that they can’t swim and thus, the drowning won’t happen.

Life Vests are the only safe floatation device and we believe that even they should NOT be used at a pool. They should only be used in open water like oceans, lakes and rivers (where it is very important that they are used). Life Vests were made for open water. They were never meant to be used in pools.

Pools are where kids learn what their own bodies can do in the water. They need to do that without a flotation device on, to develop respect for the water. They need to have lessons that teach them to float on their backs so that they can breathe and wait for help, and then need to learn to swim so that they can rescue themselves. They need you to always stay within an arm’s reach of them while in or around water, until they learn to swim on their own. They need you to never put them back into the device while learning to swim or after they have learned, because the devices will unteach them all of the skills they have learned in lessons.

That’s why we say NO to floaties! Join us in our mission to make sure all children are taught to float, all parents know the dangers of floatation devices during swim times, all Puddle Jumpers and floaties stop being used at all and Coast Guard approved life vests are used in open water, but not in pools with little ones.

Bring us your Puddle Jumpers and other floaties and let us help you choose life saving survival swim lessons instead!

For more information on how YOU can help with this campaign, please contact Annette Courtney at annette@judahbrownproject.org or Christi Brown at christibrownsky@yahoo.com.

Please visit nofloaties.org to sign our Puddle Jumper Pledge! You taking this pledge will help spread the word to other moms and dads that puddle jumpers and floaties are not safe for our young children in the water!

The message that these devices are ok to use with our kids was spread from parent to parent. Please help us reverse this misguided information, by spreading the truth about these devices from parent to parent by talking about it with as many parents as you can!!

NDPA Sustaining sponsor blog cover

The National Water Safety Conference, hosted by the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) is the nation’s leading annual event devoted to drowning prevention and water safety. The conference is hosted for the cross-section of the industry and is built on a foundation of top thought leadership and education.

It is thanks to the commitment and continued support of our sustaining sponsors that our flagship conference reaches a national and global audience, offering intelligent, engaging and relevant content to all attendees.

For everything NDPA Sustaining Sponsors have done for us in the past, everything they still do and will continue to do, we at the National Drowning Prevention Alliance are thankful and excited about all the possibilities we see in a prosperous future together.

https://us.ddtech.com/

D&D Technologies is a company dedicated to the design and manufacture of quality, state-of the-art gate latches, locks and hinges.

D&D Technologies now enjoys a reputation as the #1 gate hardware designer in the world, with established markets in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, South America, the UK and Europe. They confidently guarantee the highest quality of the products they sell. With options available for all gate applications and materials D&D hardware is ISO tested and certified to the most stringent standards.

While they are in the business of profit, they are also very proud of the fact their products save children’s lives. They give back to the community with strong financial and practical support of child-drowning-prevention organisations worldwide such as the NDPA. It’s all part of their passion and commitment.

https://www.cvent.com/

Cvent offers software solutions to event planners and marketers for online event registration, venue selection, event management and marketing, onsite solutions, and attendee engagement. #Cvent’s suite of products automate and simplify the planning process to maximize the impact of events.

With their support, the NDPA has managed to take the National Water Safety Conference to the next level as a virtual event.

https://counsilmanhunsaker.com/

For more than 45 years, Counsilman-Hunsaker has led the industry by completing more than 1,000 national and international aquatic projects of every size and complexity. In fact, many of the innovations that are now standard in the industry were conceived at Counsilman-Hunsaker.

The NDPA thanks them for their commitment to the audiovisual aspects of the National Water Safety Conference. Their effort, time and support have contributed to the continued success of this annual event.

https://www.familiesunitedtopreventdrowning.org/

Families United to Prevent Drowning is a group of people connected for the worst possible reason: the loss or near loss of someone we love to a water tragedy. Through Families United, we join to create one voice. Together we say, “Not one more drowning.”

Though their stories were different, the end result was undeniably the same: drowning is preventable. These shattered families forged a union that would create one singular, shared vision for the future. Stronger together than apart. Today, that group is 60 families strong. And sadly, growing.

https://www.ipssa.com/

The Independent Pool and Spa Service Association, Inc. exists for the mutual professional benefit and growth of its members and for the continued improvement of the pool and spa industry.

https://michaelphelpsfoundation.org/

Upon returning home to the U.S. after competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Michael launched the Michael Phelps Foundation and embarked upon an eight-city tour across the country to share his Dream, Plan, Reach message with Boys & Girls Clubs of America members.

In 2009, along with the help of KidsHealth.org and Michael Phelps Swimming, we developed our signature program, IM. IM is a water-safety, physical and mental wellness, and goal-setting program for Boys & Girls Clubs of America members and Special Olympics International athletes.

https://www.phta.org/

The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance protects and advances the common interests of the industry by providing education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge and profitabilit

It is their core purpose to promote safe and healthy pool and hot tub environments for people to share enjoyable aquatic experiences.

https://www.usaswimming.org/foundation/

Serving as the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming, the USA Swimming Foundation works to strengthen the sport by saving lives and building champions. By equipping our children with the life-saving skill of learn-to-swim and providing financial support to our heroes on the U.S. National Team, the USA Swimming Foundation aims to provide the wonderful experience of swimming to kids at all levels across the country.

https://www.iccsafe.org/

The International Code Council is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions that include product evaluation, accreditation, technology, training, and certification. The Code Council’s codes, standards, and solutions are used to ensure safe, affordable, and sustainable communities and buildings worldwide.

https://joshtheotter.org/

The Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation‘s mission is to educate children and adults worldwide about water safety through the utilization of drowning prevention campaigns & early childhood water safety training.

https://www.misstristan.com/

Miss Tristan Foundation was formed to ensure that Tristan Lynn Byrd would live on through the organization’s drowning prevention efforts. They are dedicated to raise water safety awareness through education of children and adults in and around spas, pools, and open bodies of water