This past week Guppies Group Inc. interviewed nine different people to get opinions on the effectiveness of floaties. Each of the fours members interviewed two people on their own and one as a group. I, Chloe Coronado Winn, was present for three of these interviews. You can get the inside scoop right here.
The team started out interviewing the fabulous Ana Josephson, better known as Mrs. Jo to her students. She has a fours year old son named Max, so she was a perfect interview target. The Guppies learned that Max wears floaties and they have really increased his confidence in the water. He wasn’t a fan of the flotation devices that go across the chest, but has come to like arm floaties. However, Mrs. Jo had a few complaints regarding arm floaties. They slip off if they aren’t blown up all the way, but they cut off circulation if they are. Mrs. Jo suggested that floaties be
filled with gel to fix this problem. This is something the Guppies will need to consider as they move into the design and prototyping phases. One of her main concerns was that floaties are too bulky and not secure enough. Gel might solve this problem, but it also could also make it worse. Arm floaties also don’t guarantee that the child won’t tip over and fall face down in the water, if this were to happen and no one noticed the child could get stuck that way and drown. Mrs. Jo believes floaties are important for beginning swimmers who are just getting used to the water.
I located an internet article written by a parent who agrees with Mrs. Jo’s ideas that floaties help with a child’s confidence in the pool. The lady who wrote the article, Floaties Foster 4-year-old’s Sense of Independence, said her daughter loves the water, but had always been afraid to go into the pool alone. With the help of floaties she can go on her own. http://www.goerie.com/article/20140709/OPINION07/307099967/erica-erwin-floaties-foster-4-year-olds-sense-of-independence
Next, Vanessa Winn was interviewed. Her opinions on floaties differed from that of the other interviewees. She taught swimming lessons for many years and believes that floaties promote false confidence on the child’s part and a false sense of safety for the parents. She said floaties don’t teach children how to swim correctly because they keep the child vertical and to swim one must be horizontal. Floaties also don’t teach children how to go underwater. Mrs. Winn was very against floaties.
Overall these interviews created more questions than they answered. What should the new and improved floaties be made of? Should they be arm floaties? Vest floaties? Waist floaties? Do floaties help or hinder a child’s ability to swim? Should they combine floatation and teaching a child to swim? The Guppies have a few more stops on their interviewing journey to answer these questions. A few other interview targets include a swim coach with a five year old son and a few children themselves. Join us next time for an update on the new and improved floatie design. Brought to you by Guppies Group Inc.