In the last few weeks as summer gets into full swing and more and more kids are in the pool. I have seen more than a few social media posts from mother’s aghast at a new product that they have been seeing around. Neck rings for swimming. There are several brands Swimava Baby Head Ring, Waterway Babies, Oteroo and more. And they look a little something like this:
What was your first reaction?
As you can imagine, the comments have gone a little like this:
“Please don’t ever use this!”
“I can’t believe anyone would ever use something like this!”
“Since when is dangling from your neck a good idea?”
“It’s never safe to fill your bathtub that full for such a small child!”
“This is a terrible idea! Why would anyone do that to their baby?”
So why would anyone do that to their baby? Let’s talk about it.
- Hydrotherapy (or Water Healing) is the use of water for therapeutic purposes and has been a recognized type of therapy for hundred of year. (Yes, hundreds!)
- Hydrotherapy takes advantage of the special properties of water (such as temperature) to stimulate circulation.
- Children with low muscle tone experience a feeling of weightlessness and can move their bodies with far less effort than when they are fighting gravity.
- Hydrotherapy studies have documented that, when used as an adjunct therapy, such beneficial effects as enhanced physical/mental development, increased weight gain can be experienced. (VERY important for special needs children!)
What are the mom’s saying? When asked, a group of special needs parents who have used them came out overwhelmingly in support of the neck rings. I was told the plastic around their neck is very comfortable and the children who have tried it haven’t seemed to mind it at all.
- One mom said they her daughter loved the mobility and freedom that it provided once she got used to it. She said they had to move closer to a neighborhood pool because her daughter loved swimming so much.
- Another said her son won’t stop kicking his legs in the pool because he enjoys it so much and she loves that it’s a good work out for him. (This is exactly the type of behavior that we seek opportunities for!)
- “We love ours!” (Time 10, many mom’s said this!)
I think I need to get one of these to take Dylan to the pool! Hopefully we will be able to try one someday and I will be able to do my own personal review. These mom’s input is enough to know that the neck rings are something that I should be open to trying one day if I am able to. Providing our children the ability to see the world in any way we can is so very important and this is a great tool to get out there exploring!
To the decenters credit – I did watch a video on the Otteroo website and at the end there is very small child without anyone within four feet of her. That in itself is a little panic inducing! It should be stressed that a child should never be left alone in this or any other floatation device. One very valid point was that people will use them like they are advertised – please, be careful out there!
Have you tried one for your special needs child? What did you think?