The Best life Jackets For Toddlers In 2021

As a parent, it is crucial to keep your kids safe. Such safety extends to every aspect of life. However, the most important aspect where toddlers need to be safe is the pool, even if it is just in your backyard.

According to the U.S Coast Guard (USCG), life jackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs) are among the best and safest devices out there that prevent drowning incidents. That is why even kids should wear these when they are around water, even if they know how to swim.

If you are looking to make your toddler’s life safer, look no further. Here is a complete guide to how you can choose a suitable life jacket and the best ones out there in 2021.

What To Look For In The Best Life Jacket

Before you invest in your toddler’s safety, you need to know what you are looking for. Here are some of the most important factors you should take into consideration:

  1. Type Of Life Jacket

The life jacket you choose should be perfect for the water activity your kid is indulging in. According to the USCG, life jackets are classified into five distinct categories. However, only three types are best suited for use by toddlers. These include:

  • Offshore life jacket: Perfect for the open ocean or rough sea because it is incredibly buoyant
  • Near-shore buoyant vest: Perfect for inland water and boating activities
  • Flotation Aid: Only suitable for inland and calm water as they are lightweight

You can choose from one of the three types depending on the activities you do with your kids. If you just want a life jacket for swimming pool use, then you need a flotation aid. However, if you plan to go on a boat or the open sea, you can choose from the first two types.

  1. Design

Design is also an important consideration when choosing the right life jacket for your toddler. Many life jackets in the market combine USCG certified safety standards with style to provide the best to consumers. However, what you need to consider is the design that is beneath the life jacket.

There are three distinct designs and styles that are included in a life jacket:

  • Inflatable: They automatically deploy as soon as one is submerged in water. These are not suitable for children below the age of sixteen
  • Buoyant: These are manufactured from neoprene or foam. They are durable and don’t require anything to work
  • Hybrid: These combine both the designs mentioned above
  1. Fit

Another important consideration is the fit of the life jacket. Proper fit for your toddler is essential. Many parents make the mistake of buying an improper fit, which is not good for safety.

If it doesn’t fit your toddler properly, then the life jacket will not provide adequate protection from water. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when checking to see if the jacket is the right fit:

  • Ensure it is according to your toddler’s weight and size
  • Fasten it properly to check if it fits snugly
  • Make sure your toddler is holding their arms straight over their head when checking the size
  • Check to see if there is excess space above the armholes. If there is, then that means you need to get a smaller size

These tips will ensure that you make the perfect purchase that fits like a glove. Never invest in loose life jackets because that means your child can slip away. So, always make sure the fit is right.

Best Life Jacket For Toddlers In 2021

Now that you know everything you need to choose the right life jacket, it is time to check the many great options available in the market. These jackets are made for toddlers, but the one you choose will depend on your preferences.

Here are some of the best life jackets for toddlers:

  1. O’Neill USCG Nylon Infant Life Vest

The O’Neill nylon infant life vest is approved by USCG and is classified as  Type II, i.e., near-shore buoyant vest. That means you can use this life jacket for inland water and boating activities. However, it is a great option for using it in the swimming pool too.

The life jacket is perfect for babies and toddlers that can weigh up to thirty pounds. The jacket is manufactured from high-quality nylon and flotation foam that will last your toddler for a long time. It also features a grab loop that is perfect for pulling up your toddler or holding them for support.

The vest is incredibly lightweight, and it will ensure that your toddler’s head stays above water at all times. Here are some of the best features of this life vest:

  • Adjustable safety belts
  • USCG approved Type II PFD
  • Lightweight
  • Provides ample head support
  • Soft and comfortable

Here are some of the cons of purchasing this PFD:

  • The fit may not be suitable for your toddler
  • Only one color option

In conclusion, this life jacket is great for toddlers and is priced affordably too. However, you will also find many other great jackets in the same price bracket. If you want something with more variety and color options, then this life jacket may not be the ideal choice for you.

  1. Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids

The puddle jumper is one of the most popular choices among parents that have toddlers weight thirty pounds or less. That is because it has fun sea life characters that your kids will love while also providing them adequate protection.

The USCG approves it as Type V/III. The vest has gone through a series of strict tests that deem it perfect for water parks, swimming pools, and many other swimming activities. Your toddler will be safe in all these areas where one requires a USCG approved flotation device.

The jumper vest includes an adjustable strap so that your toddler can experience a perfect fit. Besides that, the design is incredibly comfortable, which means your toddler can easily play in the pool even if they have the vest on. The best feature is perhaps the buckle snaps.

These buckle snaps ensure that your toddler can’t take off the PFD on their own. That means they will experience optimal safety in the pool as the PFD will be fit them perfectly. The best feature for your toddler is the variety of designs and colors this comes in.

You can choose from many designs your toddler will love, and it will make their water activity experience more enjoyable. Here are some of the best features of this life jacket:

  • USCG approved
  • Durable nylon shell
  • Creative and colorful designs
  • Meets strict standards for use in water parks, boats, pools, and much more
  • Ultimate safety for your toddler

Here are some of the cons of purchasing this life jacket:

  • Expensive
  • Will not be able to turn your toddlers face upward

In conclusion, this is a great life jacket that is durable, comfortable, safe, and attractive. However, it is a bit more expensive than other options out there, and your toddler’s face will not turn upward in case of an incident. So, you must consider these things before purchasing this life jacket.

  1. Speedo Unisex-Child Swim Flotation Classic Life Vest

The Speedo life vest cannot be counted as a life jacket because it is more of a flotation or swimming aid for kids. It is best utilized in calm and steady water and is ideal for kids that weigh around thirty pounds. The best part about this vest is the freedom it gives your child to swim properly.

The vest is made of high-quality neoprene and is approved by the American Red Cross. It also provides UV protection to the toddlers wearing it. It comes in various colors that will be perfect for your toddler.

You just have to make sure that you only use this vest in waters with no currents or tides. That is because this vest is not made for the ocean or lakes. Its use should only be restricted to pools.

That is why if you are a family that has a pool in their house or loves taking poolside vacations, this life vest is the ideal choice for your toddler. The vest comes with a leg strap too, which means that you will be able to adjust the vest’s fitting according to your toddler’s weight and size. A perfect fit is not a problem with this life vest.

The classic life vest comes with a buckle strap and a zipper in the front. However, you need to know that the vest is only available in two unique sizes. One size is small, and the other is perfect for kids from four to six years old.

Here are some of the best features of this life vest:

  • UV50+ protection
  • Made of 100% polyester
  • Durable and high-quality neoprene
  • Swim level 2
  • Affordable brand

Here are some of the cons of this life jacket:

  • Not a life jacket but a swimming aid
  • It might cause a rash, but it can be alleviated with a rash guard

In conclusion, if your child is learning to swim in a pool, this life vest can build their confidence. They will have enough freedom to move in the pool while being adequately protected. If your toddler experiences chafing with this vest, then you can always use a rash guard for this problem.

  1. Infant Life Vest By Airhead

This life jacket is a USCG approved Type II life jacket. It is best for toddlers that weigh less than thirty pounds. The design is close sided, and it provides a supportive headrest with a handle.

All these features are there to provide optimal safety to your toddler in the pool. The handle will allow you to grab your toddler from the water conveniently and quickly. The headrest will ensure that they are protected in the pool or water.

The best part is that this life jacket comes in many colors and cartoon designs. However, if you want a highly visible design, you should opt for the yellow color option. Doing so will ensure that you will be able to spot your child from afar.

The life jacket is best suited for boating activities and calm inland water. So, if you and your family love going sailing or taking boating vacations, this will be an ideal choice for your toddler. The life vest includes a crotch strap.

The strap allows the toddler to stay in place when they are in the pool or water. As a parent, you can rest knowing that your child is secure and safe with the life jacket. The jacket has a polyester shell and a poly-e foam to ensure the best buoyancy for the intended water.

The jacket also has three strong and sturdy belts that have side release buckles. These were included in the life vest so your child can be completely secure inside the vest. Here are some of the best features of this life vest:

  • Includes a grab strap to rescue quickly
  • Bright colored vest for easy spotting
  • Adjustable straps for a snug fit
  • USCG approved
  • Segmented headrest for a comfortable experience

Here are some cons of this life vest:

  • Not suitable for tiny babies

In conclusion, the Airhead Infant Life Vest is one of the best choices for toddlers. That is because they focus on a safe and comfortable experience. You can see this focus in the design and the materials they have used to create the life vest.

If you and your family love going to lakes, rivers, or boating vacations, then this life jacket is the ideal choice for your toddler. It will offer comfort and high-quality protection so your child can stay safe.

  1. Salus Bijoux Baby Vest

Do you live in an area where the weather is hot most of the time? Do you utilize water activities to cool off during those days with you and your family? If you answered yes, then the Salus Bijoux Baby Vest is an ideal choice for your toddler.

The vest has won a CASB (Canadian Safe Boating Award) for the Best New Safety Product, which means you are guaranteed optimal safety with this best. It is best for babies that weigh between nine to twenty-five pounds as it has a chest size of twelve to eighteen inches.

It is the best choice for a hot summer’s day because the vest includes an adjustable mesh and a webbing harness. These features allow air circulation, and this will lead to your baby cooling off on a hot day. Since it has no plastic fabrics included in the design, there will be no rubbing or chafing of the skin.

There is also mesh at the back. This was added so your child can lie down comfortably in the baby carrier or the blanket even with this life vest on. It also features a three-piece collar.

The collar design will cradle the head of your toddler and allow them to float easily in the pool or water. If you enjoy going to the beach on hot days, this baby vest will offer adequate safety and protection for a long period. Your toddler can wear this for a long time, and they will still feel comfortable.

The design is such that it maximizes breathability and air circulation. That way, the jacket will keep your toddler cool as well as safe. Here are some of the best features of this life vest:

  • Adjustable mesh
  • Webbing harness
  • Additional flotation near the head
  • Maximum breathability
  • Best used for hot days

Here are some of the cons of this life vest:

  • There is a learning curve as it will take you some time to get the harness on correctly
  • Not USCG approved because there is no testing standard for children under twenty pounds

In conclusion, this is a great choice for all the beach vacations you may want to take with your toddler. The vest will provide adequate safety and protection as it is made from high-quality materials. So, if you want something for the open sea that is breathable for your infant, this is the best choice.

Safety Tips For Parents

Besides investing in the best life jacket for your toddler, you must practice other safety measures too. It is always important to take safety seriously when your toddler is in the pool or water, and here are some things you can do:

  1. Never Leave Them Unsupervised

You must never leave your child alone when they are in the pool or water, even if they are wearing a life jacket. You never know what could happen, and it is important to keep an eye at all times. Toddlers are fragile and at a curious age where they want to explore.

They might try to get out of the life vest and do something else. That is why you always need to keep an eye and be prepared. Leaving them unsupervised is a big no for parents.

If your toddler does not know how to swim, you should supervise them next to them. That way, you can help them out when they are struggling, and they will be more eager to try swimming on their own. They will know you are next to them and will protect them.

  1. Start Small

Just because you have invested in a life jacket for your toddler, it does not mean you should start teaching them swimming as soon as possible. A life jacket is not an adequate substitute for teaching your child to swim early. You should always start small.

Before you start with swimming lessons, make sure your toddler is comfortable with the water. You can first teach them how to safely float in a shallow pool or shallow waters in lakes or the sea. Once they are comfortable with floating, you can start swimming lessons.

Many parents make the mistake of pushing their children to swim early. That is not good because it breaks their self-esteem and confidence in the long run. You must ease them into the transition by starting small.

  1. Prioritize Safety In Swimming Pool At Home

If you own a pool at home, you need to take other measures besides investing in a life jacket. After all, you don’t want any incidents happening when your toddler is left unsupervised. That is why it is important to practice pool safety at home.

Make sure that it is surrounded by a four-sided fence that is at least forty-eight inches tall. Besides that, the pool should also include a self-latching or self-closing gate to separate from the house. Doing this will ensure that your toddler is safe from the water and they don’t have access to it easily.

If you teach your toddler to swim on your own, you should take every safety precaution and start small. However, you should opt for swimming lessons from a certified professional. They will ensure safety and will teach your child better.

Final Words

That was your complete guide to the best life jackets for your toddler in 2021 and the various things you can do to keep your child safe in the pool or water. All these life jackets are great options and serve a unique purpose. That is why you should choose the one that suits your preferences and your budget.

Once you have invested in the perfect life jacket, your toddler will be safe at all times. Of course, this still does not mean that you should leave them unsupervised at any cost. It is essential that you keep an eye on them even when they have a life jacket on.

Even if you have a pool at home, you should take all safety precautions, so your toddler does not have easy access to it. Once you do, your home will be safe for your toddler, and you can teach them how to swim in a much better way.

What are you waiting for then? Choose the best life jacket and teach your toddler to swim with adequate safety now.

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