Puddle Jumper vs Life Jacket: What Are the Differences?


Did you know that 11 children drown in the US every day?

And the saddest part of this fact is that you can prevent drowning. Even if your child can swim, it’s important that they have the proper flotation device. Even a simple vest could be the difference between life and death.

But when it comes to a puddle jumper vs a life jacket, which one do you choose? The last thing you want is to risk a child’s life by giving them the wrong protection.

In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between a puddle jumper and a life jacket. Then your kids can spend a safe summer in the pool.

Puddle Jumper vs a Life Jacket: What Is a Life Jacket?

This might seem like an obvious answer, but it’s important to note that a PFD (personal flotation device) keeps a child’s head above water. Further, a life jacket should have US Coast Guard approval. You should avoid inflatable jackets since you cannot use them for children below the age of 16.

Not only that, your child needs to wear their PFD correctly. You should refer to the manual, or the Coast Guard’s life jacket guide. Taking the time to make sure a life jacket is secure can make the difference between life and death.

Lastly, get the right category of the life jacket. A Type II jacket will provide the best flotation for children that can’t swim. A Type III jacket provides less, making it easy for swimmers to move.

Before going out on a boating trip, check out freedomboatclub.com/ for more details on what life jackets you should use.

What Is a Puddle Jumper?

A puddle jumper is a variation on the arm floaties design. Rather than two inflatable rings that you put on your child’s arms, the puddle jumper connects these two rings with a vest. You should not use a puddle jumper for a child that is less than or greater than 30-50 pounds.

What’s the difference between a puddle jumper and a life vest? A puddle jumper puts a child in a position that’s more natural for swimming. It’s an excellent swimming aid for very small children who still haven’t learned.

Some puddle jumpers have the US Coast Guard’s Type III classification. Make sure to check your child’s puddle jumper before making this assumption.

Ideally, you should only use a puddle jumper in the pool. These are not the proper life jackets for a boating trip at the lake or open ocean. Remember, inflatable jackets are not as reliable as jackets with buoyant material.

Children can get rough. In some cases, a puddle jumper could pop. Make sure to check the puddle jumper for leaks before using it.

Get the Proper PFD for Your Child Today

Your child’s safety is the utmost priority when it comes to swimming. Don’t let a summer end in disaster. Get the proper flotation device your child needs today, and know the difference: a puddle jumper vs a life jacket.

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