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Do I need to bring a life jacket for my four year old or does the ship provide them? Also, if they provide them on board, can I take them off the ship to use at the beaches?

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they provide them on board=

 

I do not believe they are supposed to leave the ship, don't really know how they would enforce that though as they don't search you when you leave and if it were to be inside of a beach bag they would never see it.

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No, you don't need to bring your own. In an emergency the ship provides them.

There are life jackets at the pool for kids to wear (assorted sizes) in the RCI pools. You "cannot" take these off the ship, so if you're going to a pool or to the beach you'll need to bring your own from home...inflatable arm type work/pack easily when traveling.

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Terminology.

 

Life jackets are the big orange things that you put on when the ship is sinking.

 

Swim vests are the flotation devices for children and non-swimmers to wear in pools and ocean to help them float.

 

Life jackets are provided.  For all ages.

 

Swim vests are near the pool and available for use.  Off the ship, it is up to you.

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3 hours ago, SRF said:

Terminology.

 

Life jackets are the big orange things that you put on when the ship is sinking.

 

Swim vests are the flotation devices for children and non-swimmers to wear in pools and ocean to help them float.

 

Life jackets are provided.  For all ages.

 

Swim vests are near the pool and available for use.  Off the ship, it is up to you.

To be totally accurate, the term for all of these is "PFD" or "personal flotation device", and the "big orange thing" is a "Type 1" and a "swim vest" is either a "Type 3 or 4". And, while "Type 1" PFD's are provided for all ages, these are not always "life jackets", as the infant version is more of a head to toe bag than a jacket.

 

And to the OP's question, as others have said, no the ship provided PFD's are not for use on shore.

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The ship's life jackets are for emergencies only.  If you're going to a private island/beach that belongs to the ship, they may have floatation vests for the kids...but I would bring what I need, just to make sure it IS available.  No other beaches will have that.

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We were recently in the Enchantment.

 

There were plenty of infant size and I believe “youth” - (older child size) but very few young child size. We had difficulty finding any for our small 7-year old and there was no under leg strap which resulted in swim vest riding up. It seemed a good idea before we went but wouldn’t rely on them again. Although he can swim we wanted to use one because of the rocking  of the ship.

 

We would take our own in future.

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7 hours ago, Ashland said:

inflatable arm type work/pack easily when traveling.

Most unsafe type; we take pool life jacket off in Labadee no problem 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Ashland said:

...inflatable arm type work/pack easily when traveling.

 

Former lifeguard / EMT here.  PLEASE don't use those inflatable arm-doughnut things.  They're worse than not using any kind of PFD at all.  If your kid isn't a strong swimmer, they need to be in a USCG approved flotation device like a vest.

 

Those cheap inflatables do nothing.  And when one fails, all the other one does is lift one arm up, dunking the kid's head sideways -- making it harder for them to keep their nose and mouth above water to breathe.   Outfitting a kid with these make them more vulnerable, not less.

Edited by mk-ultra

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, LMaxwell said:

Most unsafe type; we take pool life jacket off in Labadee no problem 

You may have been able to take these off for Labadee since it's a private island but you certainly can't take them off for regular port stops...It clearly says this on the rack by the pool where they are kept. What a parent decides to bring from home is entirely at their discretion. 

 

Edited by Ashland

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, mk-ultra said:

 

Former lifeguard / EMT here.  PLEASE don't use those inflatable arm-doughnut things.  They can be worse than not using any kind of PFD at all.  If your kid isn't a strong swimmer, they need to be in a USCG approved flotation device like a vest.

 

Those cheap inflatables do nothing.  And when one fails, all the other one does is lift one arm up, dunking the kid's head sideways -- making it harder for them to keep their nose and mouth above water to breathe.  

Anything is better than nothing at all...even an inflatable innertube (ring type)....of course only with eyes on close supervision. Many don't have the space available to bring their vest with arm floaties from home...just trying to give some alternate suggestions.

Edited by Ashland

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1 minute ago, Ashland said:

Anything is better than nothing at all....of course only with eyes on close supervision.

 

Absolutely incorrect.  Those arm doughnuts increase their risk of drowning.  If your kid needs a PFD, use a real one.

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15 minutes ago, Ashland said:

Anything is better than nothing at all...even an inflatable innertube (ring type)....of course only with eyes on close supervision. Many don't have the space available to bring their vest with arm floaties from home...just trying to give some alternate suggestions.

 

Also a former lifeguard and EMT - and that's completely FALSE.  Those floatation devices give both the watcher and the swimmer a false sense of security by thinking the floation device will keep them up, which makes them MORE prone to drowning/near drowning.  I can't tell you how many kids I've yanked out of pools or lakes because the slipped out of those things.

 

Echoing what's been said before - if your child is not a strong swimmer, please put them in a US Coast Guard approved life jacket.  You can go to almost any sporting goods store and ask for one, and they will be able to help you.  The approval stamp should be on the device itself.  Your best bet is to bring your own device, as you will know, for sure, that it meets USCG guidelines.

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9 minutes ago, BensonFan711 said:

 

Also a former lifeguard and EMT - and that's completely FALSE.  Those floatation devices give both the watcher and the swimmer a false sense of security by thinking the floation device will keep them up, which makes them MORE prone to drowning/near drowning.  I can't tell you how many kids I've yanked out of pools or lakes because the slipped out of those things.

 

Echoing what's been said before - if your child is not a strong swimmer, please put them in a US Coast Guard approved life jacket.  You can go to almost any sporting goods store and ask for one, and they will be able to help you.  The approval stamp should be on the device itself.  Your best bet is to bring your own device, as you will know, for sure, that it meets USCG guidelines.

 

Thank you.  I'll also point out that even if your kid is in a USCG approved vest -- you still need to keep an eagle eye on them.  Unless it's a very specialized vest (which you will not get on a cruise ship), all it does is keep them from sinking.  It doesn't ensure their mouth/nose is above the water.  You can drown face down while wearing an approved vest.

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3 minutes ago, mk-ultra said:

 

Thank you.  I'll also point out that even if your kid is in a USCG approved vest -- you still need to keep an eagle eye on them.  Unless it's a very specialized vest (which you will not get on a cruise ship), all it does is keep them from sinking.  It doesn't ensure their mouth/nose is above the water.  You can drown face down while wearing an approved vest.

 

Thats very true. The only sure-fire prevention for drowning is to stay out of the water, even extremely shallow water. However, there are ways to increase and decrease the odds of that happening. USCG approved devices decrease the odds of drowning, but don’t eliminate them entirely. 

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36 minutes ago, Ashland said:

Anything is better than nothing at all...

Incorrect.  I am not arguing an opinion.  Just stating a fact.  

 

As far as taking one off at Labadee, very well may be that it is the case for the private island.  I am relaying my personal experience. 

 

More and more sharing any personal experience on this website seems to come across to the general readership as some sort of open invitation to attack or berate.  It is not.   Grow up. 

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9 minutes ago, LMaxwell said:

Incorrect.  I am not arguing an opinion.  Just stating a fact.  

 

As far as taking one off at Labadee, very well may be that it is the case for the private island.  I am relaying my personal experience. 

 

More and more sharing any personal experience on this website seems to come across to the general readership as some sort of open invitation to attack or berate.  It is not.   Grow up. 

I think it would be a great option for the cruiseline to provide life vests on their private islands or at least allow them to be checked out onboard when in ports.

Sorry you assumed my post was an attack it certainly wasn't...and I'm very grown up btw.

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, mk-ultra said:

 

Absolutely incorrect.  Those arm doughnuts increase their risk of drowning.  If your kid needs a PFD, use a real one.

Absolutely. I am an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, and agree with the comments of the lifeguards. Water wings/ arm floaties, or whatever you want to call them, are terrible. I understand the fact that parents want to keep their children safe in and around water, however these inflatables are not the way to do it. Unfortunately they give both children and parents a false sense of security. They also teach the child to be in a vertical position in the water, which is not conducive to learning how to swim. I urge parents NOT to use them.

Edited by superduper123

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14 minutes ago, Ashland said:

I think it would be a great option for the cruiseline to provide life vests on their private islands or at least allow them to be checked out onboard when in ports.

Sorry you assumed my post was an attack it certainly wasn't...and I'm very grown up btw.

 

You have a pretty huge post history.  Maybe don't jump in on safety topics and give (bad) advice outside of your knowledge?

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2 minutes ago, mk-ultra said:

 

You have a pretty huge post history.  Maybe don't jump in on safety topics and give (bad) advice outside of your knowledge?

Thanks...I'm always open to suggestions and learning something new. I've seen so many of the type of flotation devices being used and sold I described so apparently some think they are adequate....some don't. Luckily all my (9) grandchildren learned to swim before they could barely walk..a priority for us since we all have pools...still we never take our eyes off them around water.

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I've definitely learned something here. I never thought about the dangers of the arm inflatable devices, but as I read through the information here, I see how they can be a danger. Thank you to the lifeguards/safety instructors and EMT's on this thread that have given this information. I am going to make sure my 7 year old grandson, who we're trying to teach how to swim, does not use those devices. Especially since he is still a little afraid of the water.

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1 hour ago, Ashland said:

Thanks...I'm always open to suggestions and learning something new. I've seen so many of the type of flotation devices being used and sold I described so apparently some think they are adequate....some don't. Luckily all my (9) grandchildren learned to swim before they could barely walk..a priority for us since we all have pools...still we never take our eyes off them around water.

 

Good on ya.  The #1 thing is to keep an eye on the kids, no matter what kind of PFD they're wearing.

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2 hours ago, Ashland said:

I think it would be a great option for the cruiseline to provide life vests on their private islands or at least allow them to be checked out onboard when in ports.

Sorry you assumed my post was an attack it certainly wasn't...and I'm very grown up btw.

If they allowed them to be checked out at ports, they would have to charge a pretty hefty deposit or people would be leaving them all over the beach like they do with towels. 

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3 hours ago, Ashland said:

Anything is better than nothing at all...even an inflatable innertube (ring type)....of course only with eyes on close supervision. Many don't have the space available to bring their vest with arm floaties from home...just trying to give some alternate suggestions.

Nope.  My husband is also a former lifeguard.  Those stupid blow up arm thingies are worse than useless and actually make it more dangerous for the child in the water.  Inflatable anything are only good in still water, and even then it’s marginal.  The base pools ban them altogether.  

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Thanks for the responses😊 We will be bringing ours from home and also keeping a close eye. Happy Cruising!!

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