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As you may see from a previous review I have started taking Jayden swimming as I feel it is important for him to get use to the water from an early age. Whilst I know Jayden is no where near the stage where he will start to learn to swim, I want him to feel safe in the water as well as having a certain amount of independence so that he does not have to be carried all the time.
We purchased him a Zoggs Trainer Seat which we have been very pleased with, however he does not want to be in it the whole time and does enjoy being right in the water and splashing around so we decided to purchase him some Zoggs Float Bands in order to help support him in the water as well as either me or my husband supporting him.
To start with I thought he was a little young for these, that was until we took him swimming when it was a session for under 5 year olds, half the children were wearing these and a lot of them were Jayden's age, the float bands allow your little one to have a bit of independence in the water and feel like they are swimming on their own (although you do need to hold on to them a certain extent)
The Zoggs Float Bands come in a small rectangle box, it has the Zoggs logo in the top right hand corner with the name Float Bands written at the bottom in white writing, the stage that the float bands are for is written next to it. The majority of the box is taken up with a picture of a baby in a swimming pool wearing the float bands being supported by a woman. The back of the box is blue and contains all of the product information, including facts about the float bands, the age group that these are suitable for and also the warnings, inside the box is a small instruction leaflet which contains further product information should you need it, all of this information in both the booklet and on the back of the box is repeated in several different languages.
The Float Bands
The Zoggs Float Bands look just like regular arm bands used for swimming, they are made from a bright orange Vylux material, this is designed to be more durable which cannot be easily torn or punctured making them more safe for your baby, there is a certain amount of information written on the float bands in blue which give you guidance as to where to inflate them and such like, it also has the name of the product written on them, again in blue writing.
The float bands have dual air chambers with two separate non return safety valves, these allow you to adjust the bands once your baby is wearing them to get the correct buoyancy, the valves can then be pushed inside the bands so that they are not caught or snagged on anything whilst being worn.
The Zoggs Float Bands are described as being Stage 2 which when you check the chart no the back of the box states that they are suitable for children under 1 year old making them ideal for Jayden's age. Once on your baby's arms and inflated one side of the bands are flat, this part goes against your baby's body on the underside of their arm for comfort, the rest of the bands are inflated to help keep them afloat, they do look bulky when worn, however again they need to be in order to do what they are supposed to.
Directions for Use
When it comes to using the Zoggs Float Bands it is pretty self explanatory, however there are instructions inside the booklet should you need some advise. The information states that you should
* Slide the float bands on your baby's arms
* Squeeze each valve and blow air into them to inflate each chamber
* Close the valve by firmly inserting the stopper
* Push the valve into the chamber until the top of the valve is flush with the chamber
* Once in the water keep hold of your child and check the buoyancy, the water should sit around level with their shoulders, adjust as needed
* To deflate the float bands pull the valve out, remove the stopper and squeeze the bottom of the valve to release the air
As with most products there are a few warnings on the back of the packaging, these state that
* Only use under adult supervision
* These are not a life preserver
* Supervision should always be within reach of the wearer
* Check or signs of wear and tear and throw away and replace at the first sign of damage
* Always ensure they are securely fitted
Again these are quite self explanatory and common sense, however they are important points which need to be adhered to to ensure that your child is safe at all times when in the water.
Price and Availability
Zoggs Float Bands are available from a variety of shops which sell swim wear and accessories, we purchased ours from the leisure centre where we take Jayden swimming and the pair of float bands cost just £4.99, personally I thought they would be more expensive than this and was pleasantly surprised when I saw the price.
We have had the Zoggs Float Bands a while now and the first time we took Jayden in the pool wearing them he loved it, we put them on him and inflated them whilst he was out of the pool and he wasn't to keen on them to start with and tried to shake them off, however once he got in the water wearing them they didn't bother him at all.
We held Jayden on his front wearing the bands and supported him around the middle and he kicked his legs and moved his arms like he was trying to swim and move through the water, we helped him around the pool and the bands kept his front end afloat whilst we supported his middle, when we did this before and without the bands his head would often go into the water a bit, whilst he wasn't bothered about this I didn't want him swallowing too much water, the bands prevented this and gave Jayden a bit more independence, whilst he still had to be supported we could just guide him around the pool whilst he kicked all his liked, he seemed really pleased with himself, like he was swimming on his own.
He is definitely not frightened of the water and the bands will help him to gain more confident of being in the water and supported as he gets older. The Zoggs Float Bands were definitely worth the money, they are strong and of an excellent quality. I would highly recommend this product to anyone taking a baby swimming.
Last year on holiday, on a wet miserable afternoon, we decided to visit the swimming baths but it wasn't until we got in there that I realised we hadn't took her arm bands with us. I quickly sent my other half to buy some and brought a pair of Zoggs.
The armbands are available in several sizes, under 1 year, 1 - 3 years, 3 - 6 years, 6 - 12 years, we choose 3 - 6 years as Lauren was around 3 and a half at the time and found they were easy to get on her arm and considering she was at the lower end of the age range, they weren't loose at all.
The armbands are bright orange with Zoggs written in bold blue writing. Each armband has 2 chambers (operated by one valve), and a flat part which is meant for under the arm/against her so it doesn't rub against the body. I have brought armbands in the past where they have rubbed against Lauren or there has been 'sharp' edges however I didn't experience any problems with these and the edges are quite smooth.
We paid around £8 for these, but I think I paid a premium because I brought them at the swimming baths, they normally retail for around £4.99 and are widely available in sports shops, ELC and Amazon. I think this is quite reasonable and inline with other brands on the market.
It took me a little while to get the hang of inflating the armbands, you have to bite the valve slightly as you blow (this opens the 'airway' up). The valve will not let air escape (again unless you bite it slightly) so you haven't got to worry about them deflating - I tend to keep them inflated all the time now as it is easier. The whole valve can then be pushed into the armband so as they aren't rubbing on against her or she cannot 'play' with them and accidentally deflate them.
Overall, I would recommend these armbands, although they aren't the most attractive to look at, they fit nicely and give my daughter (and me), that extra confidence in the water.
Thanks for reading.
I regularly take my young granddaughter swimming, she is progressing well but still gets a little worried when the water is higher than she'd like. For that reason I like her to wear armbands; she has a swimming float and is rather accomplished using that, but I am trying to convince her to swim using her arms as well as her legs and armbands allow far better freedom of movement.
I bought the Zoggs Float Bands from my local pool, after leaving my granddaughter's armbands at home, and paid £5 for them. They are available in three sizes; Under 1 year, 1 - 3 years and 3 - 6 years. My granddaughter is almost four so I bought the largest size, however these bands are on the large size so I ended up taking them back to exchange for the 1 - 3 year age bracket. These fit her beautifully, she is a rather dainty and slender child but I would suggest this size would be suitable for most 'average sized' three year olds and would conceivably fit older children too.
They are very easy to inflate as the armbands are so supple, I have asthma and simply don't have the puff to blow anything up but my older granddaughter supplied the air and she had them both blown up within a couple of minutes. The softness of the armband itself means you can blow them up nice and tightly on your child's arm, but they will feel snug rather than tight. My granddaughter's previous armbands were much cheaper than this Zogg branded set, but the difference in quality is visible when I take both pairs and look at them together.
It's then I can really see what a good set of armbands these are. They have a definite rounded shape which makes them comfortable even when worn for well over an hour, the Vylux covering also gives them a soft feel and makes the armbands less rubbery than cheaper brands. These armbands are also rather more flexible than the other set we have which is thanks in part to the fact that each armband is inflated using two separate valves, creating a seam which will bend with the movement of your child.
The safety aspect of armbands is, I think, debatable and I tend to look on them as a confidence booster as opposed to a bona fide water safety aid. If a child needs armbands to enter the water then they should certainly not be left alone even while wearing them, watching my granddaughter I can see that she is buoyed slightly but I would definitely not rely on them to keep a sinking child above water. This is true of all armbands, however, and there is a warning on the packaging of this particular set regarding the deadly mix of young children and water.
In the pool my granddaughter has so much confidence while wearing these. We've discovered that while wearing her Float Bands she can start off using her float then slowly discard it and doggie paddle for a few strokes. This is an exciting achievement for her and I do think this is partly down to the very comfortable fit of these armbands, it's the closest she's come so far to swimming alone and wouldn't attempt the feat while wearing her old armbands. I suspect the fact that the armbands can be inflated to such a soft and snug fit means my granddaughter looks on them more as an extension to herself in the water - as opposed to two bulky, sharp rubbery bags on her arms!
They dry out in the time it takes for my granddaughter and I to dry and dress, then can be rolled up and stored in your swimming bag ready for next time. The valves allow the air to escape easily, needing only very slight pressure to open the valve and a small squeeze to remove the last bit of air.
I absolutely recommend the Zoggs Float Bands if you take a young child swimming. The smallest size is still rather large and I'd suggest even those wouldn't suit a baby under at least a year old, my grandson is five months old and they would certainly be much too big for his arms so this relatively wide age range of 'Under 1 year' (children grow extremely quickly in their first twelve months) is a little misleading.
If they don't stock the Zoggs range in your local pool or leisure centre you can buy these Float Bands from Amazon, at the higher price of £7.68 for the largest size.
When it comes to teaching your kids to swim, Zoggs is a brand leader, with many useful products for all swimmers, from beginners to the more confident. Whatever stage your child is at with their swimming, there is sure to be a Zoggs product that is designed for their needs. Zoggs products are available in ELC, as well as at the counter in most leisure centres. So, what made me choose these armbands over, say, a cheap pair from poundland? After all, these are not the cheapest bands on the market, retailing from £3.99-£5.99 a pair.
Well, I have tried the cheaper brands, but in my experience, this is money down the drain, as they are liable to tear and puncture easily, and in many cases, the seams have quite a sharp edge. Zoggs bands, on the other hand, have many good features, which make them my brand of choice. Here is a rundown of the main features of these armbands:
1: High visibility
The bands, as you can see in the picure, are a very bright orange colour. If your kids like to be quite independent when they go swimming, it is easy to keep an eye on them if they are wearing these brightly coloured bands, whereas cheaper bands usually just have patterns or TV characters on, and are not particularly bright. The pool lifeguards will also be able to keep a better eye on your child, although obviously, the child's safety is primarily your responsibility.
These bands are made from a patented material called Vylux, which will not puncture or tear easily. This also means that the mands will last for many years, if looked after, and can be passed on to other children when your child has finished with them. This is a lot more cost effective than buying lots of cheap pairs of armbands. This said, I did have a problem with the bands when my curious cat got hold of them and decided to stick her sharp claws in one of them. Even heavy duty Vylux, is not designed to withstand cats claws, so pet owners, be warned! I can hardly mark the bands down for this though, as it was my fault for not keeping them out of reach of the cat. As I say, these will last a long time if you are sensible with them!
3: Nice fit
Unlike some bands that inflate all the way around, and can chafe the child's arms, the Zoggs bands have a flat part that goes under the arm, and just the upper part of the bands inflate. Obviously, this is a lot more comfortable for the child to wear over a prolonged period in the water. The seams are not sharp.
4: Double air chambers
Each band has two seperate air chambers, so this gives you a lot of control over how much you inflate them. If your child is improving with swimming, you could just inflate one of the chambers. The bands also have the non return type air valve, which means that when you blow into them and stop to take a breath, you don't lose all of the air back out of the hole. As I have asthma, this is a big benefit for me, and I have never got breathless inflating these bands!
These armbands have really helped my children with their confidence in the water. My two oldest kids are now competent swimmers, despite the fact that we don't really go swimming very often. The bands give excellent buoyancy in the water, and the child doesn't have to worry about sinking if you let go of them. My youngest still uses the bands occasionaly, but I have recently bought him a swim jacket, in the hope that he will take the next step towards being more confident in the water. The Zoggs bands have served me well and lasted a long time, so I consider them a worthwhile investment for young kids earning to swim. They are easy to clean with just a wipe, and easy to deflate, though I found it more practical to keep them inflated. I would recommend these highly.
When we were planning for our first holiday abroad I decided to buy my daughter who was one at the time a pair of armbands for the hotel pool. I had been using cheap mothercare armbands up to the age of one but as she was wanting to try to swim more herself I wanted to get her her own pair of quality arm bands.
I choose Zoggs because having used a few of their products myself I knew they were an excellent manufacturer of swimming equipment. They cost me 12 euro in Lifestyle sports which I thought was abit exceissive for kids arm bands but as they were the only ones they had I bought them anyway. They were available in a range of sizes for all kids but I chose the 1 to 3 size for my daughter.
You simply just blow these up until they become like balloons and place them as far up the childs arm as they can go. My daughter can still move around fine with them and I wouldn't let her swim without them.
They are a swimming aid that help them float but I wouldn't treat them as a life jacket! Just a tool to help kids swim but you would still need to fully supervise them.
They have been used quite a bit and are still in excellent condition. They would be hard to pierce as the material is quite tough. Once deflated they dry quickly and take up little space.
I would recommend these to all parents teaching their children to swim.
The idea of swimming with these Zoggs Float Swim Bands is very simple and easy to grasp. The swim bands once inflated can be worn as an aid to the various stages of learning to swim and do have their uses as a confidence giver for children of a variety of ages.
We bought a set of these for £3.99 which was a good price for the product which can often sell for between £3.99 and £5.99 depending on the age range covered by the bands.
The swim bands come in sizes to suit age 1 to 3 years and then age 3 to 6 years and 6 to 12 years, but elsewhere I have seen these rated in terms of a childs weight, ie: up to 12.5 kg, 15 kg, 25 kg and even up to 50 kg.
The variety in sizes should mean that you can pick out a size to suit, but these bands are not well suited to use with a young child or baby and a swim ring with a seat or a swim jacket would be more suitable in that case.
These bands have a simple set up which comprises of 2 air chambers per arm band, which when inflated can work to give a child a little extra help and confidence to stay afloat in the water. Each of the inflatable air chambers have a non return safety valve, which you squeeze slightly to blow air into the chamber. Once you release the valve the air remains safely within the armband and you can close the attached valve lid to seal it from the water.
The bands are made from a material called vylux which seems a little thicker than some cheaper material used in budget arm bands. I feel its always wise to check the thickness and quality of the material used and try to go for the best that you can. Although when ordering online you do need to trust what the description of the swim band product says, as you cannot see it in the flesh.
We went for Zoggs as we have had a number of their range of products and found them on the whole to be of a good quality. They are also well priced and are stocked by many major retailers, so are easy to find in the shops. Its a false economy to buy cheaper thinner arm bands as they do not tend to last well and in the long run last for fewer swims than a good set.
Once the arm bands are inflated and ready for use they can be put to the test. We always used to put the arm bands onto our child before inflating them, as that way we got a better more comfortable fit. If you try to force the arm bands on once they are fully inflated it can be difficult to do without catching the skin of your childs arm in the material, which could easily pinch.
Once in the water the arm band if fitted correctly can help to give a child a little extra confidence. They do not restrict the movement of the arms any more than other arm bands we have tried and were more than able to support the arms and upper body of our child to enable them to swim confidently. They didn't seem to rub against our childs arms that we noticed either and seemed to cause no discomfort when in use. Our chid was mostly happy to wear them and enjoyed the freedom it gave when swimming with them on.
One thing to be aware of is that these bands are a swim aid that should not be taken for granted. We always supervised our child when in the water and wearing these and never allowed them to go into deeper water than they could stand up safely in.
The arm bands when used safely and wisely are a very good aid to learning to swim and should last long enough to enable your child to move on towards being arm band free. We also bought a set of floats for our child to use after this stage, but they can be used in addition to these float bands too for a little bit of extra fun and variety.
In terms of rating the product I feel that these Zogg Float Bands are a 4 star product, when used wisely and can be a good aid to the early stages of learning to swim unaided. They ought never to be relied on fully and a child who cannot swim on their own should always be supervised when wearing these.