Get Ready For Adventure: 5 Important Things To Know about Water Toys!
Children have a developing yet strong sense of touch, and playtime significantly affects how they perceive their surrounding environment. So, playing in the water with water toys inevitably provides a fun-filled chance to safely experience several aspects, like different temperatures, sounds, and textures.
Water play is a perfect combination of mobility and excitement—no wonder many parents choose to take their kids swimming from as early as six months of age. While playtime, especially in water, comes with great benefits even for babies, it’s also necessary to take safety precautions when bringing them to the pool.
Most likely, you must have seen parents using inflatable or large water floats to help introduce their kids to being in the water. Just because outdoor water toys and inflatables are readily available everywhere doesn’t automatically imply that they are safe for your children.
Therefore, it is essential to know the types of water toys to avoid, follow maintenance protocols, and be aware of possible dangers to assure that pool time with the kids is always recreational and safe.
What Are Water Toys?
Water toys come in numerous shapes and colors and are designed to be attractive and stimulating for kids. While some help keeps children engaged during water play, others help kids stay afloat during supervised lessons and training.
Be it pool toys, inflatable lake toys, outdoor water toys, or bathtime toys, kids can play with them, wear them, attach them to their bodies, or even sit directly on them. Water toys range from guns, armbands, floaties, noodles, and seats to inflatable balls, rings, tubes, and rafts.
Are Water Toys Good For Kids?
Many pool lessons for infants begin around three to six months old. However, water toys should be selected wisely according to age and purpose. Besides being fun, water play helps develop multiple core skills like dexterity and cognition.
Research shows that kids who play in the water from an early age have better cognitive skills. And including water toys in the playtime promotes cognitive development like problem-solving, counting, mathematics, and language skills. Moreover, swimming or playing in water improves motor skills and spatial coordination, building confidence and overall personality development.
Are Water Toys Safe For Kids?
Regarding the safety measures of water toys, it is essential to note that not every toy can be deemed safe for kids. For example, several pool toys like neck floaties keep the baby afloat. However, they are not safety devices and project severe concerns when unsupervised. Therefore, they should never be considered a replacement for adult supervision.
Many smaller water toys like water guns and balls carry a risk of breeding bacteria due to having small holes from where the water can seep in and settle. Likewise, inflatable water toys in the pool give children an exaggerated sense of their swimming abilities, enticing them to tackle more advanced areas of the pool. However, regular use of such devices can also misinform kids about their abilities in the pool, which can lead to severe accidents.
Seeing kids joyful and playing in the water can also make parents let their guard down. As a result, they may get inattentive and leave their kids unsupervised for a moment, which is all it takes for any accident to occur.
All in all, water toys are not something that parents can entirely depend on. Many factors go into keeping a child safe during water play besides ensuring that the water toys or devices are good quality and child-safe.
What is the Best Way to Use Water Toys?
Studies suggest that most water-related injuries are connected to children being left unattended in the water, whether in the bathtub or the pool.
The simple answer to this question is that it depends on other factors like the type of water toy, the scope of play, the age of the child, and the type of supervision. Bath or outdoor water toys like water guns pose much less risk than most other pool likes like inflatables and floaties with young children.
Fortunately, if water toys are cleaned and maintained regularly, and as long as your child is under direct and constant supervision, most water toys, pool floats, and inflatable toys are safe to use.
What Can You Do to Ensure Your Child’s Safety During Water Play?
One of the most common causes of death in kids between the ages of one and four is drowning. Because younger kids have less control over their movements, the danger is more significant for them to suddenly and silently drown in as little as two inches of water.
Parents also include swimming lessons early to educate their children about controlling themselves in water. Regardless, parents should always take proper safety measures and make supervising water play their priority whenever they take children for a bath or pool time.
Furthermore, there are a few other things to be mindful of when it comes to water toys:
- All water toys should be properly cleaned at least once a week.
- Inflatable pool toys should always be cleaned and deflated after every use.
- Make sure to store the water toys away from children’s reach.
- With inflatable toys, carefully check for any leaks or tears.
- Always ensure that the water toys match your child’s age and weight.
- Read the labels carefully to ensure that the water toys are made with child-safe materials.
Above all, educating your children about water toys and how to play with them wisely is a good idea to prevent any accidents or mishaps.