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Different health organizations have given strict advice on children wearing life jackets in and around natural bodies of water such as a lake or the ocean. This does not have anything to do with their swimming knowledge.

Water safety is really important when it comes to family and especially children. This is why I have taken my time to pick the best and also attractive life jackets for kids.

When shopping for a good life jacket, make sure that you find one that is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. You also need to pay attention to the weight rating, making sure that your kids haven’t outgrown your life jackets before using them. Anyways, consider checking out our list of gears that makes your beach camp fun.

1. Puddle Jumper Kids 2-in-1 Life Jacket and Rash Guard


Puddle Jumper brand life vests consistently earn top ratings among parents for their life jackets. This product, rated for 33- to 55-pound children, combines the company’s life jacket with the sun protection of a kid’s swim shirt with built-in UPF 50+ sun protection.

We tried this out on our 3-year-old with fantastic results. We loved how easy it went on—just slip your kid’s arms through the sleeves, zip in back, and fasten the clasp. It’s designed so that kids can’t get out of the vest without help from their parents (another safety must). He enjoyed bopping around in the pool thanks to the buoyancy that this provided, and we also loved the colorful designs.

2. O’Neill Child Reactor USCG Life Vest

This U.S. Coast Guard-approved O’Neill life vest is great for water sports. There are quick-release safety buckles over the heavy-duty front zipper for security. It offers a relaxed fit for swimming, water skiing, or tubing. Recommended for children weighing between 30 and 50 pounds, this life jacket for kids has a grab strap on the top and a strap that runs under the legs.

3. Stohlquist Kids Life Jacket

For kids weighing between 30 and 50 pounds, the Stohlquist Kids Life Jacket is Coast Guard-approved. It offers quick-release buckles over the front zipper for added security and the padded head support has an additional foam band designed to help keep a child’s face up in the water. It offers a comfortable fit and a grab handle.

4. Oceans7 Life Jacket

The Oceans 7 Kids Life Jacket comes in a variety of sizes for infants, toddlers, and bigger kids. Its nylon construction and thick EPE flotation foam give it buoyancy, and three adjustable straps make it safe and comfortable. It’s perfect for not only keeping your child safe but also allowing them to build the confidence they need in the water.

5. TRC Recreation Kids Super Soft USCG Vest

The TRC Recreation Kids Super Soft USCG Vest offers a great alternative to the bulkier jackets. The vinyl-covered, closed-cell foam design feels smooth and light. It comes in extra-small (0 to 30 pounds), child (30 to 50 pounds), and youth sizes (50 to 90 pounds).

This material is also great because it repels water as opposed to absorbing it, which can make other life jackets feel very chilly after soaking in the water and then putting them on in cooler weather. It also dries instantly, which is great for picking up after your day at the beach or pool.

6. Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe Child Life Jacket

Parents of kids who aren’t swimmers yet recommend this life jacket for helping kids stay buoyant at the pool. The Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe Child Life Jacket takes the concept of “water wings” and adds an extra pad around the upper chest and back to help keep kids afloat. It’s best for smaller kids (rated 30 to 50 pounds) who don’t mind wearing snug sleeves around their upper arms.

Overall, this design is less bulky than a traditional life jacket and doesn’t rub up against the neck. There’s a safety clasp at the back, which means the jacket will stay secured until mom or dad removes it.

7. Speedo Supersaurus Personal Life Jacket

We’re a little jealous this one doesn’t come in adult sizes. Who doesn’t want to pretend to be a dinosaur while wading through the water at the lake? The Speedo Supersaurus Personal Life Jackets feature an extra floatation collar behind the neck, cleverly designed as the dinosaur’s frill. The remainder is a standard life jacket with two body straps and a crotch strap. It’s best for kids between 30 and 50 pounds.

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