Swimming & flotation aids

Children may drown if their swimming or flotation aid is incorrectly used or is faulty. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions for safe use.

About swimming and flotation aids

Swimming and flotation aids help keep children afloat and gain confidence as they become familiar with swimming. Children can wear, attach to their bodies or sit in the various types of swimming and floating aids. They include but are not limited to armbands, attached rings and swimming vests.

Risks and injuries

Swimming and flotation aids are not safety devices. Children who cannot swim may drown if their swimming or flotation aid fails or is not used correctly.

Parents and carers should constantly watch children using swimming aids. As children are still developing, they generally have limited motor (brain to muscle) coordination and are not able to judge potentially dangerous situations or react to them in time.

Buying tips

  • Follow the manufacturer’s age and/or weight recommendations when choosing swimming and flotation aids for children. For instance, flotation aids for younger children may not be able to support an older child’s body.

Safe use

  • Read the warning labels and packaging carefully and follow instructions for proper assembly and use. Children can drown if the aids aren't used correctly or if they deflate during use.
  • Ensure an adult is constantly supervising children using swimming and flotation aids.
  • Contact the ACCC to report swimming and flotation aids that fall apart or deflate too quickly.