When I was young I thought I was bulletproof. I embraced life and “what if” was something I dreamed about, not something I was afraid of. Life was seen only through my eyes, and every new chapter was something new and exciting. It was all about me and I was in control.
Then something happened.
It’s called motherhood.
It changes everything.
I know, they all say that and you imagine your life with less freedom. Less sleep. Less time. But it’s more than that. Motherhood exposes you to a gut-wrenching reality where “what if” keeps you up at night. “What if” causes tragedy surrounding other children to haunt your every thought. “What if” paralyzes you when your own children are out of your sight. “What if” makes you feel so wounded and vulnerable that you can’t seem to catch your breath.
One of my biggest “what if” fears involves water safety and my kids. With spring and summer right around the corner, these fears become the focus of my daily life. I want them to be able to enjoy everything that summer offers without having to worry about their safety.
My son is 9 and has taken swimming lessons, but the problem is that he has a tendency to sink rather than swim despite his training. He just doesn’t get it. He drops like a rock. My daughter is 5 and is currently taking swimming lessons. Her problem is that she is fearless and one session of lessons has left her with the attitude that she “can swim” when, in fact, all she really knows how to do is kick her legs.
I struggle every day with “what if” but I am making a conscious effort to not let it paralyze me. I don’t want my fears to prevent them from enjoying life, and I certainly don’t want to miss out on making great memories with my kids.
The good news is that when it comes to water safety, “what if” can define the potential for FUN in the sun as opposed to something you have to be afraid of, you just have to be smart about it.
Water safety tips
Being smart when it comes to the water is about paying attention and teaching your kids about water safety. The American Red Cross has detailed information about water safety and how to keep kids safe around water.
- Learn to swim – make sure you and your kids can swim.
- Never, ever swim alone.
- Do not swim in areas designated as unsafe.
- Never lose sight of your kids around water.
- Enroll in a CPR class.
- Children or inexperienced swimmers should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device (PFD) in or around water.
- For more tips from the Red Cross visit: water safety tips.
Stearns Puddle Jumpers Life Jacket
The Red Cross recommends that children and inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device when in or around water. Stearns Puddle Jumpers Life Jackets are U.S. Coast Guard approved as floatation devices for kids and can help them learn to swim.
About Puddle Jumpers:
Build confidence in the water with a Stearns® Puddle Jumper® life jacket. The patented design allows children 30-50 lbs. to move and swim freely in pools and lakes and beaches, without ride-up. The US Coast Guard-approved life jacket is also a learn-to-swim aid. Your child will build confidence in the water, learning to swim comfortably, and you’ll build confidence in their abilities. Always use Stearns® Puddle Jumper® Life Jackets with adult supervision.
The Stearns Puddle Jumpers Life Jackets come in a wide variety of colors and styles and help make water safety fun. Abby WANTED to wear her new life jacket, it was easy for her to put on and comfortable enough for her to wear and not complain about it. It fit her well and has plenty of room for her to grow until she becomes a strong enough swimmer to not need a floatation device to help her swim. She can’t wait to hit the beach!
It’s so important to me that my kids get to experience the water and have fun in the sun every summer but in a way that is as safe as possible. Other floatation methods don’t offer the same security and protection as the Stearns Puddle Jumpers. Pool noodles aren’t secure and rely on the child to hold on to them. Other methods rely on being filled with air and cannot be counted on to stay inflated.
Where to buy Puddle Jumpers
Puddle Jumpers are available on the web at the following locations:
“Fun in the Sun” Sweepstakes
Puddle Jumpers has teamed up with Parents Magazine for a “Fun in the Sun” sweepstakes with some fantastic prizes including a $5,000 Grand Prize to use towards a summer vacation. Three First Place winners will also receive 2 Stearns Puddle Jumpers life jackets each. The sweepstakes runs through 5/31.
For more information, stories and tips for summer water safety and fun and to enter to win, simply visit the Parents Magazine Facebook Page (click on the “Fun in the Sun” tab).
I know $5,000 would go a long way towards helping to create a summer vacation to remember for my family, so what are you waiting for – go enter to win!
Before you go, tell me, which Puddle Jumpers life jacket would your child like?