Jun 08 2012
Review of The Puddle Jumper
By Wendy Cooluris, mother of 22 month son
The first time I tried to put a life jacket on our son he was about 7 months old. I heard it was good get them to try it out before you expect them to actually use it (up until this time he had been swimming with just hands around him and he LOVED it). So the first try was not bad…he squirmed a bit, cried a bit but then was mostly just fine. The next couple tries were similar to start but he settled into the life jacket more quickly each time.
Then he started walking and it was game over for the life jackets. Over the summer we went on a couple boats forcing us to really make the jacket happen. Once I nursed him to sleep with half my jacket on, the next time we got off the boat and the next time he cried/yelled the entire time (even when we pulled the zipper down a bit) and eventually he was so tired he fell asleep…an hour and a half later.
So we continued going to the pool. One day I saw a girl there that was 22 months old, only months older than my son, and she was in the shallow end jumping around and floating with this wing/chest band thing. She could right herself when she tipped, float on her stomach, jump into the water off a step and was WEARING it. So I talked to the dad and he told me it took her two visits to figure them out and then he said he just needed to be near her after that because she did the water thing by herself.
It is called a Puddle Jumper, it’s made by Coleman and I knew I needed it.
So I called Wal-mart and they didn’t sell it anymore. I looked online, found Canadian Tire sells them, but kept looking. A month later I decided I couldn’t get it cheaper online unless there was no shipping so I drove up to Canadian Tire.
Even my husband was impressed when he took our son for the first try and it was a painless trial…not only that it actually made it easier for our son to front float which has made it easier to teach him to kick. This week he has been doing a lot of kicking without prompting!
Best of all, he LIKES to wear it. We take it off when he swims in our arms or if he’s just wading. Most of the time, he will ask to put it on. It gives him the freedom I had hoped a life jacket would give him.
Basically, it’s a flotation device that’s a combo of water wings & a front vest. It snaps in the back (foam connector should be on chest) and has foam so no blowing up required. For kids 30-50lbs
**This device should still be used with adult supervision!