Saturday, 5 June 2010
Jojomamanbaby Baby/Toddler Swim Float
One of the products that got a good testing on our weekend at Keycamp was the swim float kindly sent to us by Jojomamanbaby. Despite it being initially earmarked for baby Pierre, all three kids had a go in it, although this is advised against on the product - you should not exceed the weight limit shown. We only allowed it because we were in a shallow pool and we were right next to them at all times.
The swim float looks like a normal rubber ring from the surface but it's actually two separate rings and a backrest that all need blowing up, so be prepared for a lot of puff - it might be an idea to blow it up in advance to save the kids getting impatient as you puff away and get out of breath ! The two interconnecting inflatable rings each have their own separate safety valves so should one ever get a puncture - although I can't think why it would, in a pool ! Who knows ? If you're caught in a shark attack or something !! - the other one is independent, which improves the safety element. It also has a seat with two leg holes to support baby in an upright position in the water.
The swim float comes in two sizes, the one we were testing being the Baby Swim Float - designed for age 12-24 months, 11-15kg. As Pierre is only 10 months old, he is below this weight so couldn't really use it as intended because it is too big for him. Nevertheless, keeping a close eye on him, I gently lowered him into it in the water and he leaned over, gripping the sides and leaning his head on the top of the ring, which was high enough for him to be well clear of the water. This being Pierre's first time in a pool, he was a bit scared but he seemed calmer and more relaxed in the swim float than when I'd been holding him in my arms. The integral seat held him in firmly, although I kept a close eye on him to make sure he couldn't slip through the legholes, which were a bit on the big side for him. With me guiding him in the water, he happily bobbed about for a while.
Juliette, aged 5 and weighing about 20kg, decided she wanted a go. I told her she could have a play but she'd get her bum stuck because it was designed for smaller babies but she fitted into it perfectly and spent the whole of the rest of the afternoon bobbing about happily in the pool. She loved the little backrest and said it was really comfortable. She also managed to get into and out of it by herself in the water, although again, we kept a close eye on her at all times. Even 8-year-old Sophie had a play with it, using it as a rubber ring although she obviously couldn't actually sit in it !
There are warning labels all over the swim float, from memory telling you not to use it in a rough sea or where there are waves, not to exceed the recommended weight limit, not to use it without close adult supervision, not to use it to prevent drowning ... ! But they obviously have to write that all over it for legal reasons. It also says that it corresponds fully with all European norms so it has presumably had rigorous safety checks.
Even if she is way out of the weight range, Juliette loved it so much and we were so impressed with it that we've promised her she'll be allowed to use it in Turkey this summer. By then, Pierre will have put on a bit of weight but I think it will still be too big for him, even if he will be exactly 12 months old by then. You might want to take this into consideration when deciding which size to buy, baby (age 1-2) or toddler (age 2-3). Even for older children, it's a really fun and reassuring swimming aid for non-swimmers who love the integral seat which holds them firmly in place and stops them slipping through.
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £13