Water Wings - A Guide On How To Use Them

Water Wings – A Guide On How To Use Them

We want to help you understand water wings better. They are small, inflatable arm bands that are used to teach toddlers how to swim. Throughout this post, we’ll teach you the advantages, disadvantages, and comparisons to other flotation devices. By the end, you’ll have a greater knowledge and will know when’s the proper time to use water wings.

What Are Water Wings

Water wings is another name for inflatable armbands, floaties, and swimmies. They are swim aids that help your child learn the basics of swimming and keeps them afloat.

Water wings usually have a cylinder shape. When the user is in a body of water, the armbands provide a substantial amount of buoyancy to help them float. While these are primarily made for children, there are a few adult sized water wings that are available.

Water wings usually have a cylinder shape.

Armbands are inexpensive, durable, and easy to find. They help your child get used to the water and become a better swimmer. If you need to reduce the flotation, they can be partially deflated. Children can complete swimming lessons easier and are easier to supervise if they are wearing armbands.

But, you don’t want to use inflatable armbands outside of a pool environment. They provide just enough flotation to keep your children in the water. If your child is planning to swim in any area that’s above 5 feet, then they’ll need a life jacket.

What Are Safety Standards Connected To It

Here's two safety standards:

Puncture Resistance

The first safety standard is in regards to its puncture resistance. The United Kingdom was the first country to make this a national safety standard.

Happy boy water sliding.

Puncture resistance measures the relative ability to stop the intrusion of another object. This means that every water wing that’s manufactured, is resistant to hard prods, needle pokes, and other things that might cause it to break.


After that, the United Kingdom made it standard that each water wing had a label near its inflation valves.

The labels acted as a disclaimer stating that the inflatable arms should not be used in large bodies of water. They aren’t lifesavers and should only be used with good supervision. As a rule of thumb, supervisors need to be within arm’s reach of the swimmer who’s wearing the water wings.

Why Are Life Vests Better Than Water Wings/Swimmies

There isn’t much debate here. While water wings are great for toddlers trying to swim, they aren’t useful in emergency situations. Life vests are better suited at keeping your child’s head above water and helping them float. Read this section to understand why life vests are more useful than water wings.

Better Buoyancy

If your ship capsizes, the life vest will start to inflate. On average, a life vest provides at least 15 to 22 pounds of buoyancy to adults. Compare that to a pair of water wings. Water wings can give at least two to five pounds of buoyancy at best.

Water wings can give at least two to five pounds of buoyancy at best.

When boating, or swimming in moderate terrain, a life vest will come in handy. Keep the water wings in the pool as they aren’t designed to grant buoyancy in very large areas of water.

Water Wings Are Less Durable

While inflatable arms can help your child stay above water if they are in an upright position, they can easily fall off if they lose air while your child is in the water. Life vests provide enough buoyancy to keep you afloat and are securely strapped to your body, so it doesn’t fall off.

Swimming Development

If you’re teaching your child how to swim with water wings, you might be hindering their chance to grow. For instance, water wings place your child’s arm in an obscure angle when swimming. This means that water wings hinder their performance and tend to be used as a crutch for developing swimmers.

If you’re teaching your child how to swim with water wings, you might be hindering their chance to grow.

Life vests, on the other hand, help you remain buoyant in the water. This is a great advantage because it helps children float and allow them to recover their energy to continue swimming.

We suggest that you teach your child the swimming basics with the water wings, then use the life vest once they become more experienced.

Why Are Water Wings Still Better Than Swimming Rings

Swimming rings are water toys. This means that they aren’t made to give a sufficient amount of buoyancy to the user. When the inner tube is inflated, the swimming ring acts as a lounge toy for users to rest on. While this may seem like a good thing, swimming rings are not good flotation devices.

Water Wings are better than swimming rings because they provide more buoyancy than swimming rings. If your child is in deep water with a swimming ring, they are stuck until someone comes to rescue them. At least with water wings, your child can attempt to swim back to shore during an emergency.

Swimming rings are not good flotation devices.

Still, we suggest that you get your child a life vest or a jacket. They provide the highest amount of protection and are great at keeping your child safe when exposed to rough water.

If you insist on using water wings, make sure that they are only used in a pool. This ensures that you can properly teach your child how to swim while using the life vest for more intense swimming activities.

Final Thoughts

Overall, water wings are great for your child’s initial swimming stages. They provide just enough buoyancy to keep them paddling in waters up to 4 feet. After that, you should invest in a life jacket if you plan on teaching them how to swim in deep waters.

Safety is always a primary concern when swimming.

Safety is always a primary concern when swimming. When your child is swimming with water wings, keep an eye on them. In conclusion, water wings are good short term flotation devices that should only be used to teach the basic swimming mechanics.

Do you have any experience using water wings?

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