PARENTS should never strap their kids into pool floats with canopies overhead, a swimming instructor has warned.
The shade-providing devices – designed to let youngsters lie on their backs or stomachs in the water – can allegedly kill in seconds.
Nikki Scarnati said the inflatables – specifically ones by the brand Mambobaby – can easily flip over.
Children then end up face down and can quickly drown.
The swimming teacher issued the potentially life-saving advice in a video on TikTok.
She told her followers that there are four key reasons why she would never use this kind of float.
Firstly, Mambobaby floats, which start at £38 on Amazon, are not approved by the US Coast Guard, Nikki said.
There are 90 infant devices certified by officials, but these don’t make the list.
Next, these products are reportedly “notorious” for flipping over.
“All it takes is for a child to lean forward a little too much and they’re going to flip over,” she said.
“And if they do flip over, they’re strapped into this device so it’s going to be more difficult for you to remove your child and get them poolside so evaluate them.”
Nikki explained that children under the age of four are top heavy, meaning their heads are much bigger than their bodies.
It means some postures in the water will be “detrimental” when it comes to a child’s survival, she said.
“This is why we don’t focus on doggy paddle positions below the age of four, because they are at a higher risk of getting stuck in the vertical position,” Nikki added.
“If you take a look at a photo of a baby in the Mambobaby float, the little one is laying on her back but her head is propped up because she’s looking at people.
“If she were to fall in the water without that flotation, her body is going to be forced vertically because again her head is much bigger than her body.
“[In another photo], the child is on their belly and their head is propped up.
“That is going to force their body into the vertical position because of how these children are anatomically at this age.”
All it takes is for a child to lean forward a little too much and they’re going to flip over.
The parent from Florida, US, added that Mambobaby products are particularly problematic because they often feature a canopy overhead.
While this provides shade, “this could potentially be a risk if they were to flip over,” she said.
“The canopy could get stuck on top of them so it’s going to be extremely hard for you to find your child and pull them out.”
Nikki recommends several alternative products to keep kids safe in the water, including a clear-bottomed inflatable raft and a mesh lounger, both from Amazon.
But overall, she thinks it’s best not to use floats at all.
She said: “Now I understand that every parent is trying to do the best for their child, as they should.
“In my opinion, I think you should hold your child and create the need for you within their aquatic environment because they will be less likely to veer towards the water alone as they’ve never been in the water alone.”
Mambobaby said that while its products are safe, they do not protect against drowning and people should never leave babies unattended in the water.
Nikki previously went viral for begging parents not to buy their kids blue swimming costumes.
She said the colour made it almost impossible to see youngsters playing in the water so posed a major safety risk.
The parent also urged mums and dads not to wrap their kids up tightly in a towel after going for a dip as it restricts their limbs.
If they were then to fall into a pool, there is a high chance they could drown, she added.
And she said covering your paddling pool in an old sheet to keep bugs out and save water isn’t a hack but a “complete drowning risk”.