Safety First: How to Choose a Baby Life Vest
Having some fun in the sun, especially when you’re with your baby, is the perfect way to create unforgettable memories with your child and aid their health at the same time.
Time spent in the sun, but especially when out by and in water, is extremely important for your baby’s wellbeing and development. The sun rays give off essential vitamin D, something all of us need to strengthen our immune system, but also strengthen our bones.
Knowing that your baby is in need of just that – vitamin D for them to be better at receiving calcium and thus strengthening their bones in a natural way, you can see why this is such an important activity.
Furthermore, by getting this much-needed sunshine by one of our country’s beautiful bodies of water, you help your child strengthen its muscles, thus better supporting those strengthened bones, which will result in eventual walking, better posture, and will just set your child’s physical health on the right track from the get-go.
Still, a baby is just a baby, and you can’t really just let them into the water. They need constant supervision and something to help them stay afloat while they’re having fun and working on their little bodies. This is where baby life vests come in.
Baby Life Vests: A Two-In-One Item
Life vests aren’t just for boat trips!
They are, especially when it comes to babies, really a two-in-one item. Used for both the safety of your child, but also as an aid to their physical progress, they’re something you should definitely have on hand whenever you head out to the beach.
If you’re wondering how to go about choosing and buying a baby life vest, here are some pointers you should concentrate on! There is a wide selection of baby life vests out there, so these may come in handy when making your purchase.
Get an Approved Vest
As life vests are such an important and life-saving item, their manufacturing is closely monitored and inspected. Not just anyone can nor should manufacture life vests and that’s why certain regulations are in place. To make sure every life vest that exits a factory is in perfect order and won’t fail the wearer they first need to be approved.
Approval in America, for example, comes from the U.S. Coast Guard. Logically, the Coast Guard is the institution that knows the most about bodies of water and how to stay safe while in them, so it makes sense that they know what a life vest should look and be like, thus dictating the rules and giving their stamp of approval.
In Australia, a similar thing happens. AMSA or the Australian Maritime Safety Authority is the one that dictates alongside other government agencies in each state. Life jackets need to follow regulations and be approved for use, so that’s the first thing you need to be looking for when buying your baby life vest.
Life jackets that are made following regulations and are approved usually have a stamp of approval, a declaration stating as much on the jacket itself. Always look for such a thing when buying a kids life jacket.
Another thing is to always buy your kids life jackets from trusted retailers that specialize in the field. This way, it’s guaranteed that you’ll get a vest that’s certified and operational.
There is a difference between determining the right life jacket for kids and the right life jacket for babies. The right kids life jackets are usually determined by size, while baby life jackets are determined by the baby’s weight.
Usually, life vests for babies are meant for infants that weigh around 15 kg. Still, to be sure, check the label on the life vest or consult your retailer. If you’re buying online, they might have a chart you can follow to determine which life vest will suit your baby best, so look for such a thing before making your purchase.
Furthermore, get a baby life vest that will offer your baby support throughout their whole body, but especially their neck. Collared life vests are designed to make sure your baby’s head doesn’t just bob around but is supported and they are at no risk of injuring themselves while in the water.
Another specification you should mind is which type the vest is. Baby vests that are type two are designed for children who don’t yet know how to swim, so they have the added feature of always coming out upwards if the wearer submerges in water. This is an extremely useful and important feature, as your baby will be active while in the water, so it will give you the peace of mind that they won’t end up upside down.
Check The Fit
No matter how good a life vest is, if it doesn’t fit your baby the right way, it’s not the item you’re looking for. By getting a vest that supports their weight group you’re already taking the first steps toward a good fit, but you still need to put the vest on your child and test the fit out before heading to the sea.
A life vest should fit snuggly on your child, but never be tight. It should give support to its head, but not make them unable to move it. It should fasten well and leave enough space between the body and the vest to be able to work properly.
One rule to follow is to see if, when the vest is buckled up, the head and chin of your baby stay above it or if they dip below the line. If the latter is the case, your vest is too big and you need to exchange it for a smaller one. Oppositely, if the jacket can’t be strapped and buckled, the vest is too small and you need to go for one that’s bigger.
Doing these checks before heading out is of utmost importance as you really don’t want to already be on the beach or the boat and realize that the vest you got isn’t the right fit for your child.
To Sum Up
A baby life jacket is a very essential item you should always buy among all the other essential clothing. By following these rules you will definitely choose the right jacket for your child, ensuring their safety in the water and giving yourself a bit of a break from worrying whether they’ll be okay.
An approved vest with the right specifications and size, alongside the perfect fit, is the only vest you should be looking for. It may not feature a cute, baby-friendly design, but that really isn’t the point of a life vest, is it?
Remember to always buy from trusted and certified retailers as they’ll be the ones who have the most up-to-date, quality-made life jackets for baby you can be absolutely sure won’t let you or your child down. Also, always remember to dress your child in the appropriate organic clothing when they’re out in the sun, as their skin is very sensitive and will need additional protection!