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We are so lucky to live by the lake! My parents live on the lake, about twenty minutes away and when the weather is nice, we go there at least 3-4 times a week. We go boating, jet-sking and the kids swim in the lake (I do not ever swim in the lake- no need to try to convince me. They fish have done a fine job of convincing me otherwise).
So… our only issue is that we take 6 young kids onto the boat when we go and no one wanted to wear their life jackets. Between our four kids and my niece and nephew (they live close, too), we have kids ages: 8, 7, 6, 4, 3 and 2. The older kids don’t mind wearing a life jacket, but our little ones do not like it at all! The way that it seems to crowd their faces is what makes them cry when we put it on them. We have the same situation when we go to the beach, but we found a coast-guard approved alternative:
We finally found a solution that WORKS! Last year, my sister in law brought out her Stearns puddle-jumpers that she found at StearnsFlotation.com. Our kids practically live in these all summer long, anyway. She put my almost 4 year old niece into it and put her on the boat. Our nephew, 6, was wearing one, too. (At the time they were between the 30-50 lb. weight limit)
I had no idea, but it turns out that Stearns Puddle Jumpers are Coast Guard Approved! Woo-Hoo! Our kids love wearing them already (not kidding here – our daughter seriously thinks that it is just another piece of her bathing suit because I always have her in it. It gives me such a piece of mind!)
Oh- and I can’t imagine going to the pool without the kids wearing them. One time (get ready for a scary story), our son, 3 at the time, decided to just walk into the pool. He just WALKED IN! I saw him and jumped in to grab him. That was all that it took for me to decide that our non-swimmers would wear puddle jumpers even if they were walking around the pool.
It really isn’t worth stressing when you are near the water. I know that many parents worry, but if you just have something like your Stearns Flotation Puddle Jumpers you will feel so much better and enjoy yourself and your kids even more!