Swim Rings – Have you seen them?

Swim Rings – Have you seen them?

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 RingWaterway Babies, Oteroo and more. And they look a little something like this:

Photo from Amazon

Photo from Amazon


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?”


Photo credit: Swimava (hop over to their website for more adorableness)

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!)
This is the peanut that doesn't stop kicking!

This is the peanut that doesn’t stop kicking!

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?


  1. I usually don’t knock it until I try it. Isn’t there something better for people to be shocked and appalled about?

    • Shannon Anderson

      Right? I couldn’t find any history but from what I have seen they have used them in Asia for several years now so they aren’t brand new, just new to us! I am kind if surprised about the strong emotions they invoke!

  2. I have a special need little boy. He is 10 months old and blindwith many developmental delays as a result. We used one of these at the Anchor Center for Blind Children during water play just this week and it was amazing to see how he reated to it being on him. He loved it!! Watching hime kick his legs and laugh as he began to learn to love the water was the best feeling aparent can have. Planning on getting one for our home.

    • Shannon Anderson

      Thanks you for your comment Cheree! I love hearing feedback from people outside of my little support circle about the things I am interesting in. I love that your son had such a wonderful experience with it.


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