Armbands/ Water wings and disks are popular choices for parents wanting to give their child some independence in the water but how useful are they for teaching children to swim?
Our answer is not very!
Firstly armbands and disks restrict arm movement and do not allow children to fully extend their arm forward because of this children cannot effectively use their arms in the water which is important for effective propulsion, this also means they are solely relying on their legs to move which affects their alignment.
Armbands also force the user to adopt a very vertical position in the water and as a result children will develop a vertical body position and leg kick which is very hard to correct, you will often children who have swam with armbands swimming head up and feet to the floor this is a very ineffective way to swim.
Children can become dependent on armbands/disks meaning that once you take them away they can loose all their confidence and cannot swim without.
The upshot is avoid armbands and disks although they may give some independence in the water they don’t help your child to learn to swim effectively and safely in the water.
Your child will likely spend far longer building up their confidence and correcting all the faults without them than they would if they never wore them.
How will my child progress to swimming independently without them?
Children will learn to swim independently by building their confidence in the water, spend time having fun and enjoying the water will all help, enroll them into swimming lesson such as Splash Stars who teach early independent swimming, our lessons are progressive so each activity they will be working towards being an confident beautiful independent swimmer!
Woggles are a fantastic aid they allow much better alignment on the surface give the same independence without being fixed so you can easily go between independent swimming and the woggle without having to remove anything.