There’s nothing that you want to protect more in life than your precious children, but as much as you want to wrap them up and keep them safe, you also want them to have fun too. Getting them out there in that water can put a huge smile on their face.

As a parent though, you won’t have fun if you’re constantly worried, and that’s where finding the best infant life jacket can put you at ease, knowing your little one isn’t going to struggle in the water.

To find the best infant life vest we’ve looked through the infant life jacket reviews to try and find the top rated infant life vest for your child, along with a buying guide, so you’re fully informed. So read on to make sure you’re getting the best life jacket for your bundle of joy.

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How To Choose An Infant Life Jacket – Buying Guide

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Type

There are five different types of life jacket, and they all have their specific uses. For infants though, you’ll be requiring a specific type of life jacket to support your needs. Here we’ll go through those five types and explain each one.

Type I – Type I life jackets for children are very hard to find, and rightly so. They are designed for the worst case scenario of emergency situations in rough seas. They are very good at flotation, but are big and bulky. If you’re ever in need of a Type I jacket, then you’ll be on a boat which will have them in supply.

Type II – These are the ones you will be looking for with your infant. They are similar in design to the Type I jackets, except they are not as bulky and allow more freedom of movement. These are used for calmer waters, but still offer a lot of support.

Type III – If you’re an adult looking for a life jacket, then it’s likely that you’ll want to be getting at Type III jacket. These offer around the same level of comfort as the Type II, but don’t have the same level of head support and are generally for rescue would happen fairly quickly.

Type IV – If you’ve ever seen one of those life rings at the side of a ship or in a swimming pool, then you’re looking at a Type IV. These are throwable devices and obviously offer no level of comfort, they’d never be used for infants as they wouldn’t be able to use one.

Type V – The Type V jacket is another that you wouldn’t get your child, as these are life jackets that are designed for a very specific use such as waterskiing.

Certification (US Coast Guard Logo)

If you go to buy a life jacket and it hasn’t been certified by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), then don’t buy it. All life vests that are sold in the US need to have this accreditation, otherwise, you can seriously doubt whether they will be able to work effectively.

With companies knowing how much of a priority this is, most make it very clear that they have been certified and will have the logo on part of their packaging. If you’re unclear, then it’s important to check as it’s vital to your child’s safety. Once you know it’s USCG approved, then you will have the peace of mind you need, but all the products we’ve reviewed here have that approval

Use

Children can naturally be fussy when it comes down to what to wear and when to wear it. With that in mind, it’s important to let them get used to wearing a life jacket, so when it’s time to head out onto the water, you already know that they are used to wearing one. This could be at a pool or just around the house. It’s important that the child knows the importance of wearing one and the dangers of trying to remove it.

Fit

All parents have been there when a child is between sizes and they might be wearing pants that are a little too small or a top that’s a little too big. Of course with a life jacket, however, the fit needs to be perfect every time. While the jackets are adjustable, you do want to make sure that you’re getting the measurements correct so you buy the one most suited to their size.

You need to make sure the jacket stays in place at all times, that the head support is correctly situated and that the crotch strap can fit securely between the child’s legs. It’s an obvious point, but just like in a car seat, there should be no way that your infant can remove the life jacket. Once it doesn’t fit, or has any damage, then it’s time to get a new one.

Quick Dry

Mildew and mold can be two harmful sources of allergens for anyone, especially for infants. These two can occur whenever there is a place of persistent damp, so therefore you don’t want water to be sitting on your lifejacket for too long. Having quick dry materials will mean that the jacket isn’t as wet for as long, and therefore has less chance to develop mildew and mold. Other good avoidance measures are cleaning the jacket with a mild detergent and making sure they are hung up in a well-ventilated area after use.

Color

Color is often a case of personal preference, but it can also be important to have colors that are as visible as possible should the worst ever happen. Having bright blue, yellow or green can be the best color for being as visible as possible. It’s not even for when the worst happens either, because as a parent, you simply want to make sure your child is as visible as possible at all times.

Head Protection

A Type II life jacket needs to give head protection and there are some life jackets on the market that make sure that the user is on their back while they are in the water. The added head protection will then keep their head out of the water which is perfect for anyone who can’t swim. A Life jacket for your child always needs to have suitable head protection.

Float test

Before you head out to your open water, your nearest swimming pool or head out on the boat, you want to make sure you’ve tested out your life jacket. To do this you want to make sure you’re out on the calmest waters possible if the child is up to their neck in water and are released, then the life jacket should lay them on top of the water with their nose and mouth free. The child shouldn’t have to make an effort to remain floating in the correct position.

Grab handle

Infant life jackets should all come with a grab handle on them which generally come in the form of a loop that is under the head support and looks like the type that you’d find on a regular rucksack. This will allow you an instant point of contact if you ever need to maneuver the life jacket into any position. This has multiple uses and is a great safety feature.

FAQs

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Q: Why Does My Child Need a Life Jacket?

A: The importance of a life jacket is dependent on why kind of activity that you want to do. If you’re in a pool then it could simply be there to make life easier for them and give them a swimming aide. Similarly, if you’re heading out onto the beach then it gives you peace of mind.

If you’re out in a boat, then it is the law for anyone under the age of 13 to be wearing a life jacket, so it’s important to have one that is as comfortable as possible.

Q: How Does a Life Jacket Protect My Child?

A: Firstly, a life jacket will provide additional buoyancy which will make your child more upright in the water, added to this though with Type II jackets is that the vest should be able to keep your child on their back and their mouth and nose out of the water. If the worst happens, then this will mean that your child will be to float and breathe before they are rescued, so they’ll always be safe.

Q: What Types of Life Jackets are Available?

A: As detailed, there are five different life jackets available, but it’s only the Type II that you’ll be using for your child under normal circumstances. These jackets provided great head support and buoyancy in calm water. Further from this, there are additional features available on each jacket and these are a personal preference, but most wiwater with their nosell have the same basic safety aspects.

Q: What is the crotch strap used for?

A: Infant bodies are obviously different from adult bodies, which means they need to secure differently. Just like a 3-point system on a car seat, the crotch strap will make sure that there is no way that the life jacket can come off, even if your child wants it too. It provides additional security to stop the jacket from slipping over their head which is more likely to happen with smaller infant bodies than with adults.

Globo Surf Overview

As a parent, you always want to make sure you’re taking all precautions possible when it comes to your children. If you’re by a body of water, then it makes sense to buy a life jacket as it’ll give you the peace of mind that they’ll never be in any danger.

For a baby life jacket, you want to make sure you’re getting a quality product and that’s what all the toddler floaties we’ve reviewed here are. They will provide them with plenty of support and will keep their head out of the water even when you’re not holding them.

All these instant life jackets are coast guard approved which means that you always know you can rely on their quality. Even still, when you have a kids life jacket you’ll want to make sure you test it before you head out to the water just to ensure it’s suitable for your child.

Once you have selected the best infant life jacket for you, then you’ll be able to head out the water happy that your baby will be able to take its first splashes in the water and it discovers a new way of having fun. Read the buying guide again if you have any doubts about the product you need, and head out there for a great and safe day out on the water.

Globo Surf Infant Life Jackets Review

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Found your article while searching for a vest for my baby. Thank you for helping me find O'Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest. My family is ready for summer.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!