Mermaid Tail Toy Safety Warning

February 4, 2016
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Safety fears have been raised of the popular Mermaid Tails after this video went viral.

While it raised many safety concerns, it was not serious enough to prompt a product recall. The video resonating from the U.S shows a mother rescuing her daughter from a backyard pool after she became stuck upside down while wearing her mermaid suit.

Many kids and even adults are hitting the pool with these popular mermaid fins, which are made of a fabric tail that goes over both legs and end with a wide fin. The toy attempts to allow users to swim like a mermaid or fish.  There is actually a word for this action – “mermaiding”

The concerns around the toys are that it binds legs together, and could make it difficult to swim. Swimming with a fin also promotes breath-holding which could possibly result in blackouts.

Most mermaid tail toy companies whose products meets all the US Child Safety standards, recommend the following when making use of the mermaid tail:

  1. The product is only for experienced, strong swimmers age six and up.
  2. The device is not to be used as a floating device.
  3. Adult supervision is a must.
  4. A child may require a lesson in how to use the tail.
  5. The toy is not to be used in shallow water.

These companies also recommend that the following skills be mastered before making use of the Mermaid Tail:

  • Back Float 30 seconds: It’s important to be able to safely relax and rest in the water if you get tired.
  • Roll from front float to back float: able to turn over, maintain control and be comfortable in the water.
  • Swim 25 meters/yards and breathe unassisted during the swim: no help from the pool sides!
  • Dolphin kick on front 5 kicks, breathe and repeat; this is the basic movement required to swim in a mermaid tail. Swimmers should be competent at it before “mermaiding”.
  • Dolphin kick on back 5 kicks.

Whether you decide to let your little one give this latest craze a go or not, remember that swimming itself is a hazard unless your child is a strong swimmer.  Adult supervision is a given any time kids of any age are around water, tail or no tail.

If your child has a mermaid tail, get them to watch this safety video:

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