Flotation Assistance Devices – Arm Swimmies

Arm Swimmies

As we draw this three part blog series to a close we will focus on one last flotation assistance device –
arm swimmies. These old school flotation devices are from a generation ago (believe me I know from
wearing them as a kid). Are these devices an effective swim assistance tool – yes. Do they provide the
same protection and flotation assistance as puddle jumpers or swim jackets –debatable. Let’s take a
look at this further.


Positive Attributes and Challenges of Arm Swimmies


Arm Swimmies do provide a certain level flotation assistance when worn properly that allow a
swimmer who knows how to float to be more independent when learning their arms strokes.



the flotation comes at a price as these devices often are worm improperly or come lose too easily
when being worn during swimming. This causes a significant risk in a swimmer being put at risk when
the opportunity for errors enters.


This is especially concerning for younger swim students who are prone to becoming overconfident, and venturing into the deep end of a pool. I do not want to totally condemn
the use of these devices, however it would fool hardy to not clarify that arm swimmies should be used
under extremely close adult supervision and where possible in shallow water as a last resort to assist
swimmers in their swimming progress.

Arm Swimmies were at one point a good and useful piece of swimming flotation assistance devices,
however this device is in many ways past its prime where swim jackets and puddle jumpers have
outpaced the arm swimmies as useful, and more importantly safer swim assistance devices.


It’s not to say that swimmies should be used, however there are many more purposeful and peace of mind
giving devices that will assist a parent and child in achieving swim goals.

Arm Swimmies once were the most relied upon swim device in the modern world. The flotation device
were a spring board for the evolution into more practical devices like the swim jacket, and the puddle
jumper so therefore this device cannot be framed completely in a negative light, however it is safe to
say this device is past its prime due to the risks inherent with using them and not being as secure as
other available swim assistance devices.


In my opinion the arm swimmies should be avoided where
other swim assistance devices are available.

Until Next Time – Swim Safe!
– Greg