12 Best Life Jackets For Kids

Best Life Jackets For KidsWhen it comes to kids and water, you can never be too safe or overly vigilant. The only time I can relax, just a bit, is when my children are wearing the best life jackets for kids and are close enough that I can react right away. If this sounds familiar, you are in the right place!

Quick Links To The Best Children’s Life Vests

  1. Salus Bijoux Baby Vest Flotation Jacket for Infants Best Overall
  2. O’Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG VestRunner Up
  3. O’Neill Child Reactor USCG Life Vest Best Value
  4. Stohlquist Kids Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Vest for Children – Best For Head Support
  5. Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Infants – Best Fit For Toddlers
  6. TRC Recreation Kids Super Soft USCG Vest – Best Life Jacket For Older Kids
  7. AIRHEAD Wicked Kwik-Dry Neolite Vest – Great For Stylish Girls
  8. O’Neill Child Superlite USCG Life Vest – Secure And Comfortable
  9. O’Brien Child Neoprene Life Vest – Great For Girls
  10. Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest – Great Flotation Power
  11. Stearns Child Hydroprene Vest – Best Life Jacket For Kids Learning To Swim
  12. Stearns Antimicrobial Nylon Youth Vest – Best Life Jacket For Kids 50-90lbs
IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
  • Designed specially for infants
  • Flotation collar cradles and supports the head
  • Made from durable and safe materials
View on Amazon →
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Adjustable straps and quick-release buckles
  • Durable nylon construction is made to last
View on Amazon →
  • Secure and comfortable fit
  • Lightweight and won’t restrict your kid’s movements
  • Allows children to swim and keeps them afloat
View on Amazon →
  • Adjustable straps for a snug fit
  • Approved by US Coast Guard
  • Front zipper for extra security
View on Amazon →
  • Made from durable and safe materials
  • Double-neck collar provides support and cradles the head
  • Lightweight and won’t restrict your kid’s movements
View on Amazon →
  • Comfortable and offers floating aid
  • Adjustable crotch strap and clasps ensure the perfect fit
  • For kids who weigh from 50 to 90 pounds
View on Amazon →
  • Stylish and comfortable
  • Great for watersports and boating
  • Snug and secure fit
View on Amazon →
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Adjustable straps and quick-release buckles
  • Designed to keep children afloat
View on Amazon →
  • Large armholes prevent chafing
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Adjustable straps allow for a snug and secure fit
View on Amazon →
  • Allows for a free range of motion
  • Large armholes prevent chafing
  • Comfortable and conforms to the body
View on Amazon →
  • Comfortable to wear and move in
  • Offers a secure and snug fit
  • Easy to put on and take off
View on Amazon →
  • Brightly colored and makes kids clearly visible
  • Adjustable straps ensure a perfect fit
  • Prevents the growth of bacteria and mold
View on Amazon →

The safety of my children is and will always be my number one concern, and to be honest, I had a mini panic attack when it was time to take them to the beach for the first time. Even though I never had a life vest growing up, I know how an idyllic day on the beach can turn into a disaster within seconds.

My fear of drowning nudged me to spend countless hours looking for and comparing different life vests for kids to find the safest and best options for my kids. Luckily, I found the perfect life jackets for my kids, and I want to share my findings with you so that your family can have a safe and fun vacation!

The 12 Best Life Jackets For Kids – Reviews

Below you will find in-depth reviews of the 12 best life vests for kids! I’ve included the key features, pros, and cons of each product to help you find the best child life jacket for your kid regardless of their age. Let’s take a look at these life vests!

1. Salus Bijoux Baby Vest Flotation Jacket For Infants – Best Overall

Key Features

  • Adjustable mesh and webbing harness
  • Three-piece collar
  • Dry-Lex Aerospacer liner

The Salus Bijoux Baby Vest Flotation Jacket for Infants is the winner of the Canadian Safe Boating Award and offers ultimate security for babies from nine to 25 pounds. It comes in only one size, which is specially designed for infants, and five vivid colors.

The Salus Bijoux Baby Vest features adjustable mesh and webbing harness system for extra security, comfort, and venting. The liner is made to ensure breathability, drainage, temperature control, and your baby’s comfort.

The three-piece flotation collar offers support for a baby’s head and, with the help of additional flotation on the sides, ensures that your infant stays on the surface. The mesh back allows for better breathability and drainage and won’t chafe your baby’s skin. 

Pros:

  • Designed specially for infants
  • Flotation collar cradles and supports the head
  • Made from durable and safe materials
  • Keeps babies afloat

Cons:

  • Vest isn’t USCG approved, but only because there is currently no testing standard for kids under 20 pounds

Overall, you can’t go wrong by purchasing the Salus Bijoux Baby Vest Flotation Jacket for your infant. Although this child life preserver costs more, you can rest assured that your infant will be completely safe in the water.

2. O’Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest – Runner Up

Key Features

  • Adjustable safety belt
  • Handy grab loop
  • Made from nylon and PVC marine foam

The O’Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest is a type II PFD kids life jacket for babies up to 30 pounds. This model is available only in this size, but it comes in six vibrant colors that will make your toddler clearly visible in the water.

This US Coast Guard-approved kids life vest features a comfortable nylon shell which is closed over PVC marine foam. The foam is shaped in a way that supports your baby’s head and ensures that it stays out of water.

The adjustable safety belts feature Delrin quick-release buckles which make putting on and taking the vest off super easy. This vest also comes with a handy grab loop and a belt which is attached between the legs for extra safety. 

Pros:

  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Adjustable straps and quick-release buckles
  • Durable nylon construction is made to last
  • Shaped to support a baby’s head and keep it afloat

Cons:

  • A few customers noted that the vest is bulky and that their babies didn’t like wearing it

The O’Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest is a great option for all toddlers who like to play games near the water. It is easy to put on, durable, and will keep your baby safely afloat.

3. O’Neill Child Reactor USCG Life Vest – Best Value

Key Features

  • Segmented foam core
  • Quick-release safety buckles
  • Heavy-duty front zipper

The O’Neill Child Reactor USCG Life Vest is made for children who weigh from 30 to 50 pounds. This model is available in three different highly visible colors and is approved by US Coast Guard.

Made from nylon, this lightweight life vest for kids allows a full range of motion, and your kid won’t protest wearing it. The segmented foam core provides maximum buoyancy and will keep your kid safe in the water.

The heavy-duty front zipper allows for a snug fit, and two quick-release safety buckles ensure that the vest stays on your child. The armholes are large enough to prevent chafing, and the entire life jacket is made to be comfortable to wear.

Pros:

  • Secure and comfortable fit
  • Lightweight and won’t restrict your kid’s movements
  • Allows children to swim and keeps them afloat
  • Approved by US Coast Guard and completely safe

Cons:

  • A few customers noted that this vest is on the smaller side and didn’t fit their children properly

The O’Neill Child Reactor USCG Life Vest is a lightweight and super comfortable life vest for kids who like to swim and take toys on the beach. It comes with a secure and snug fit, and it is very easy to pull on or take off.

4. Stohlquist Kids Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Vest For Children – Best For Head Support

Key Features

  • Quick-release buckle
  • Adjustable straps
  • Double collar

The Stohlquist Kids Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Vest for Children is designed for kids that weight from 30 to 50 pounds and ensures complete safety in the water. It is available in nine high-visibility colors and is approved by USCG and Transport Canada.

This type III PFD child vest features a double collar which cradles a child’s head and makes the life jacket more comfortable like a pillow. The vest comes with a front zipper and a single front buckle for a super secure fit. 

This model also has fully adjustable straps and large armholes that prevent chafing. The unique wrap-around flotation will ensure that your kid stays turned face up and completely safe in the sea or pool.

Pros:

  • Adjustable straps for a snug fit
  • Approved by US Coast Guard
  • Front zipper for extra security
  • Dual collar and large armholes for extra comfort

Cons:

  • A few customers noted that this vest is a bit heavy and that the crotch strap could be longer

Overall, the Stohlquist Kids Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Vest for Children is a great vest for any water activities and will keep your kid safe. I really like the double collar and the fact that this vest is designed to keep children comfortable and safe.

5. Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Life Vest For Infants – Best Fit For Toddlers

Key Features

  • Convenient grab handle
  • 200 denier oxford shell and lining
  • Adjustable crotch strap

The Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Infants is suitable for kids who weigh from eight to 30 pounds. This type III PFT comes in 10 bright and clearly visible colors and is designed for the safety of the smallest kids.

Specially designed for infants, this life vest features a large neck hole and a double collar that supports and cradles the head. The entire vest is designed to be comfortable and won’t chafe your kid or make him feel uncomfortable.

The front zipper ensures a secure and snug fit, and a quick-release buckle is added for extra security. The crotch strap is adjustable and will ensure that the vest stays on your child from the moment you put it on until you take it off.

Pros:

  • Made from durable and safe materials
  • Double-neck collar provides support and cradles the head
  • Lightweight and won’t restrict your kid’s movements
  • Adjustable straps ensure for a snug and comfortable fit

Cons:

  • A few parents noted that the vest was too tight around the neck

Overall, I like how sturdy and secure the Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Life Vest is. It is specially designed to keep toddlers safe in the water without being too bulky or uncomfortable.

6. TRC Recreation Kids Super Soft USCG Vest – Best Life Jacket For Older Kids

Key Features

  • Made from closed-cell foam
  • Front kwik-snap clasps
  • Adjustable crotch strap

The TRC Recreation Kids Super Soft USCG Vest comes in three sizes, with the medium being suitable for kids ages six to eight. This vest is available in five bright and highly visible colors with options for both girls and boys.

Made from vinyl-covered closed-cell foam, this vest is going to keep your kid safe and comfortable at the same time. The vest comes with an adjustable crotch strap which ensures that the vest stays firmly in place and allows for a better fit.

This model is easy to put on or pull off thanks to two front kwik-snap clasps. And since this life jacket is lightweight, your kid won’t complain about wearing it while playing or riding a bike near the beach.

Pros:

  • Comfortable and offers floating aid
  • Adjustable crotch strap and clasps ensure the perfect fit
  • For kids who weigh from 50 to 90 pounds
  • Convenient to put on or take off

Cons:

  • A few customers received this vest without a crotch strap

The lightweight TRC Recreation Kids Super Soft USCG Vest is a great option for pool parties or trips to the beach. It will ensure that your kids stay safe in or near the water and is a great option if your child is learning how to swim.

7. AIRHEAD Wicked Kwik-Dry Neolite Vest – Great For Stylish Girls

Key Features

  • Full front zipper
  • Two quick-release buckles
  • PVC foam front

The AIRHEAD Wicked Kwik-Dry Neolite Vest is a US Coast Guard approved type III life vest which is available in three different sizes. This particular model is suitable for kids who weigh from 50 to 90 pounds and comes in a stylish black and pink color.

The Wicked life vest features segmented hinges for freedom of motion in all directions. The front is made of soft closed-cell PVC foam, and the back of the vest features a lightweight Poly-E foam.

The two armholes are large enough, so the vest fits snugly and won’t chafe your child in any way. For a secure fit, this life jacket features a full front zipper and two quick-release buckles.

Pros:

  • Stylish and comfortable
  • Great for watersports and boating
  • Snug and secure fit
  • Lightweight and allows free range of movement

Cons:

  • The size is on the smaller side, and the vest may not be the right fit

Overall, the AIRHEAD Wicked Kwik-Dry Neolite Vest is a great option if you have an adventurous and stylish daughter. This USCG approved vest is completely safe and will ensure that your kids have a great and safe summer.

8. O’Neill Child Superlite USCG Life Vest – Secure And Comfortable

Key Features

  • Heavy-duty nylon outer shell
  • Adjustable crotch strap
  • Three quick-release buckles

The O’Neill Child Superlite USCG Life Vest is a type III nylon PDF for kids weighing from 30 to 50 pounds. This life vest for a kid comes in three bright and highly visible colors which are suitable for both boys and girls. 

This vest features an anatomically cut closed marine cell flotation that will keep your kid safe in the water. The durable exterior is made of nylon panels with PVC backing which is lightweight and comfortable to wear.

The Delrin buckles are fully adjustable and ensure a secure and comfortable fit that won’t restrict your kid’s movements in or out of the water. The safety crotch strap is also adjustable and will ensure that the life jacket stays in place.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Adjustable straps and quick-release buckles 
  • Designed to keep children afloat
  • Heavy-duty nylon is made to last

Cons:

  • The sizing is on the small side, and the vest may be a bit short

Overall, the O’Neill Child Superlite USCG Life Vest is a great option if your kid just started to learn how to swim. It is lightweight, but durable, which makes it ideal for active and adventurous children.

9. O’Brien Child Neoprene Life Vest – Great For Girls

Key Features

  • Printed with soy-based ink
  • Adjustable crotch strap
  • Handy grab loop

The O’Brien Child Neoprene Life Vest is a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket for kids weighing from 20 to 50 pounds. This model comes in pink and is more suitable for girls, but a blue color is also available if you are looking for a boy’s vest.

Made from soft neoprene material, this life jacket fits snugly and won’t restrict your kid’s movements in any way. It comes with a full front zipper and two quick-release buckles that make putting it on or taking it off very easy.

The adjustable crotch strap is a great feature for small kids and ensures that the life jacket stays in place. For additional safety, this vest comes with a handy grab loop which gives you a chance to pull your kid out of water or hold her while on a boat.

Pros:

  • Large armholes prevent chafing
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Adjustable straps allow for a snug and secure fit
  • Brightly colored and makes kids very visible

Cons:

  • Sizing is off, and this vest is on the smaller side

Overall, the O’Brien Child Neoprene Life Vest will keep your kid afloat and is a great option for active children. It is well-made and comfortable and will give your kid a chance to play in and out of water.

10. Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest – Great Flotation Power

Key Features

  • Handy grab loop
  • Adjustable crotch strap
  • Heavy-duty zipper

The Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest comes in three sizes, including this model which is suitable for kids weighing from 50 to 90 pounds. This life jacket comes in a bright green color and will make your kid highly visible in the water or on the beach.

This type II PFD vest has five sections of foam—two in the front and three on the shoulders—which ensure maximum flotation. The foam is layered and conforms to a child’s body, making the vest more comfortable to wear. 

The front zipper and two adjustable quick-release buckles allow for a snug fit and provide extra security. And the adjustable crotch strap will prevent your kid from slipping out of the vest while in water.

Pros:

  • Allows for a free range of motion
  • Large armholes prevent chafing
  • Comfortable and conforms to the body
  • Adjustable straps allow for a secure and snug fit

Cons:

  • The area around the neck is on the smaller side

Overall, the Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest will keep your kid afloat and his head out of the water. It is durable and super secure to allow for a summer full of fun water activities.

11. Stearns Child Hydroprene Vest – Best Life Jacket For Kids Learning To Swim

Key Features

  • Soft hydroprene shell
  • Two buckles and a zipper
  • Ergonomic design

The Stearns Child Hydroprene Vest comes in one size and is suitable for kids weighing from 30 to 50 pounds. It comes in two highly visible colors, and a blue model is a great option for toddler boys. 

This vest features a soft and comfortable Hydroprene construction and lightweight Crosstech PE flotation foam. It is designed to enhance ease of movement and keep your kid comfortable. 

The full-length front zipper and adjustable straps allow for a secure fit, and quick-release buckles make putting the vest on or taking it off very easy. This US Coast Guard-approved kids life jacket also comes with an adjustable crotch strap which keeps the vest in place.

Pros:

  • Comfortable to wear and move in
  • Offers a secure and snug fit
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Keeps children visible in the water

Cons:

  • May be small for top-heavy children

Overall, the Stearns Child Hydroprene Vest is a great option for younger boys and girls who are learning how to swim. While this vest won’t flip your kid on his back, it will keep him afloat and safe in the water.

12. Stearns Antimicrobial Nylon Youth Vest – Best Life Jacket For Kids 50-90lbs

Key Features

  • Antimicrobial protection
  • Nylon construction
  • Three adjustable chest belts

The Stearns Antimicrobial Nylon Youth Vest is a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket for kids weighing from 50 to 90 pounds. This model comes in two vivid colors—blue and gold—which will make your kids highly visible in the water.

Featuring a durable nylon construction and PE flotation foam, this vest is made to be comfortable and to enhance range of motion. The outer shell is treated with antimicrobial protection that will prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew.

To ensure a snug and secure fit, this vest comes with three adjustable straps and quick-release buckles. The armholes are large enough to prevent chafing and will give your kid a chance to swim with ease.

Pros:

  • Brightly colored and makes kids clearly visible
  • Adjustable straps ensure a perfect fit
  • Prevents the growth of bacteria and mold
  • Dry ring on the back makes it easy to store

Cons:

  • The vest can slip since there is no crotch strap to hold it in place

Overall, the Stearns Antimicrobial Nylon Youth Vest is a great option for kids who already know how to swim. It is designed to allow children to move with ease and is great for days on the boat, at the beach, or in a pool.

Different Types Of Life Jackets For Kids

When you are looking for the best life vest for a child, you need to know that there are five different types. However, you only need to be concerned with the first three types I will list below.

1. Type I 

This type of life jacket is designed for rough offshore open waters where people may be stranded for longer periods of time. Generally, Type I vests are bulky and heavy, but they are considered to be extremely effective flotation devices. However, most children won’t need this type of vest, and you may have trouble finding one in your kid’s size.

2. Type II

A type II life vest is a buoyant device for close-to-shore excursions. They are best suited for calm waters where any potential rescue will be swift and easy. Type II life vests are less bulky than type I vests, and they may turn an unconscious person face-up; however, they don’t work for all people. 

Type II life jackets are great for infants, toddlers, children, and adults, and you shouldn’t have trouble finding one for your child.

3. Type III

A type III life vest is a more of a flotation aid and works best for calm inland waters. This type is also the lightest of all life vests which means that it is more comfortable to wear one for longer periods of time. 

The type III life jacket won’t flip an unconscious person or a child on his back. Thus, your kids should wear type III life jacket only if they are supervised at all times and if you are close enough to rescue your kid from the water immediately. 

4. Type IV

A type IV isn’t a life jacket, it's more of a life preserver or a ring that you can throw to a person in the water. Keep in mind that most kids won’t be able to swim through the water or catch the ring. So, you don’t really need a type IV life preserver for a child. 

5. Type V

A type V life vest is a specialized life jacket which is used for certain water events such as scuba diving, pool use only, water skiing, etc. When shopping for a kid’s life vest, you would not generally want a type V jacket unless for a specific occasion like water skiing. 

When looking for a life vest for your kid, you should look for type II and III life jackets, depending on your child’s unique needs.

Features To Look For In The Best Child Life Jacket

A life vest isn’t just another fashionable item your kid is going to wear to the beach; its main purpose is to keep your child safe in the water! To ensure that the vest performs the way it should, it needs to have certain features.

Here are the things to look for:

  • Certification (US Coast Guard Logo): When it comes to life jackets for kids, you want to make sure that they have been approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Otherwise, there is no way of telling if you are buying a quality product or not. Certified life vests feature a USCG logo, and if a jacket doesn’t have it, you should probably look for one that does. Life jackets that have the USCG logo have been tested to make sure that they will work when you need them the most
  • Fit: Like with all other products that your kid wears, you want to ensure that the vest fits perfectly. This is extremely important for life vests, since you don’t want your kid to struggle with it while in water. Luckily, most life jackets come with straps which will allow you to adjust the vest to fit snugly and securely around your kid’s body. Furthermore, the majority of kids’ life jackets comes with a crotch strap that will prevent the vest from riding up or slipping while your child is in the water. 
  • Use: In the past, life jackets were only used in emergencies, but now, kids should wear them the entire time they are near the water and that sometimes means the entire day. That’s why you must check if a life vest is comfortable and won’t chafe your kid even if he wears it all day long. Since most kids aren’t overly excited at the prospect of wearing a vest, it is best if you get your kids used to it at home or around the pool, and then try it on the open water.
  • Head protection: Different types of life vests offer different head protection. Type II life jackets offer decent protection, but they tend to restrict movement and are generally best suited for kids that don’t know how to swim and emergencies. The type III life vests don’t provide a lot of head support, but don't worry, as they are designed that way. They are designed to be buoyant and to keep your kid’s head out of the water and are comfortable and easy to wear all day.
  • Float test: A life jacket isn’t a product that can fail and then you can simply return and swap for another model! Life vests for kids have to work every single time. So, once you have bought a life jacket, you must test it before completely trusting it with your kid’s life. It is possible for a vest to work perfectly but still be the wrong size or too uncomfortable for your kid to wear, and it’s better that you learn about these things in your backyard rather than on the beach.
  • Grab handle: A grab handle is a loop of material that sits on the back of the vest and serves as an additional safety feature. Having a grab handle can be extremely handy if you need to pull your kid out of the water quickly. And it can be useful in aiding a child that is learning how to swim or holding him upright.
  • Color: While you will be more concerned with the safety features and the fit of a life vest, your kids will be more interested in colors and design. As it turns out, the color of the life jacket may also be an important feature, since brighter colors will make your kid highly visible in the water. Having a bright life vest will make your kid clearly visible in the dark and increase his chances of being rescued if the worst happens. Luckily, most life vests come in a range of bright colors, and you and your kid will certainly agree on one.
  • Quick-dry material: Like with any other item you take out of the water, you would want for your kid’s vest to dry as quickly as possible. Depending on the type of material, some vests are quicker to dry than others. And if a material dries slowly, it is more likely that the vest will take on mold or mildew which are harmful to your kid’s health. On the other hand, a quick-drying material will prevent any bacteria from growing and ward off the occurrence of mold. 

Safety When Using A Life Vest For Kids

When purchasing a life jacket for children, their safety should be your number one concern. One of the most important things about the life vest is for it to keep your child’s head above the water!

Keep in mind that if a jacket is too big, it may rise around your kid’s face and jeopardize his safety. On the other hand, if a jacket is too small, it won’t be able to keep your kid’s body afloat. 

The first thing you need to do once you get a life jacket for your child is to see if it is the right fit. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Check the label to see the recommended weight and size
  • Put the vest on properly—adjust straps if necessary, pull the zipper, and snap the buckles
  • See if your kid can hold up his arms over his head normally
  • Grab the top of arm openings and pull up gently to see if the vest rises over your kid’s face
  • After trying the fit while your kid is dry, see how the vest acts in a pool before taking your kid to open waters

Since there are more deaths of drowning in toddler age children than any other age, you should look for certain safety features in a life vest for a toddler. While hard to hear, this isn’t meant to scare you. I just want to point out that a proper life vest and constant supervision are imperative if you want to ensure your kid’s safety.

These are safety features to look for in a toddler’s life vest:

  • Look for a life vest that has a large collar which will support your toddler’s head
  • A grab strap that will help you to pull your kid out of the water quicker
  • You’ll want a life jacket that lasts as long as it fits, so look for corrosion-resistant buckles and zippers
  • To prevent the life jacket from riding up, look for one that has a crotch strap
  • Look for bright colors such as yellow, orange, green, or red, and avoid blues and grays
  • Reflective tapes can increase your kid’s visibility even further
  • Only purchase a life vest that has a USCG certificate

The Importance Of Wearing A Life Jacket

You know how important it is that your child wears a life vest, but do you know when and where? Here are some pointers:

  • Anyone unsure of his swimming capabilities, who doesn’t swim well, and  young kids should always wear a life vest when near or in water
  • Weather at a home pool, water park, public pool, or near water, children should always wear a life jacket
  • Adults and children have to wear a life vest on a boat
  • Even with a life jacket on, close supervision is essential whenever your kid is near the water
  • There are many different types and styles of life vests, so check the label to ensure that you get the right one for the type of water activity your kid is involved in
  • A person needs to be assigned to a child that doesn’t know how to swim or is a poor swimmer and be with him near or in water at all times, even if a child is wearing a vest

How To Care For Your Kid’s Life Jacket

Once you buy a life jacket for your kid, you’ll have to keep it in good condition to ensure its functionality. Here are some tips on how to care for a life vest:

  • Never alter the vest to fit differently, since even the smallest changes can endanger your child’s safety
  • Do not allow people to sit on the vest or place heavy things on it, since the jacket can lose its buoyancy if crushed
  • Store your kid’s jacket according to the manufacturer’s guidelines when it is not in use
  • Always check your kid’s jacket for rips, mold, or mildew
  • Periodically wash the jacket with an antibacterial detergent to prevent the bacterial growth
  • Ensure that the life vest is completely dry before you store it away to prevent mold or mildew
  • Keep the vest in a well-ventilated area to keep it dry and to prevent bacterial growth
  • Dry the vest after every use, but don’t use a direct source of heat such as sun, radiator, or a heater

Conclusion

All things considered, every child needs to have a life vest even if s/he goes near the water only once a year. Keep in mind that while life vests save lives, you will have to remain vigilant and close to your kids whenever they are around water to ensure their safety.

While each one of the best life jackets for kids reviewed above may be a great option for your child, the Salus Bijoux Baby Vest Flotation Jacket for Infants is a winner for me and my kids. It is designed specially for infants and toddlers and contains all the safety features a great life jacket needs to have to keep small kids safe.

And if you are on a budget, the O’Neill Child Reactor USCG Life Vest may be the perfect option for you. It is durable, buoyant, and, at the same time, lightweight and will give your kid a chance to move freely and experience all the joys summer has to offer.