5 Best Infant Life Jackets For Safety

The Differences Between PDF and a Life Jacket

If you are considering the purchase of a baby life jacket, then it would be important for you to understand the difference between standard life jackets and PFDs (Personal Flotation Device). While these two categories of jackets may look similar and the terms used interchangeably, both of these are unique from one another regarding functions and application.


The life jacket's purpose is to turn an unconscious person from being face down to face up in the water so that they can breathe.

A PFD, on the other hand, is designed for standard flotation and keep a person's head out of the water in normal conditions.

How To Put on an Infant Life Jacket



Life jackets are made to have more buoyancy than PFDs and most of the material for buoyancy is placed in the front. PFDs have less buoyancy than life jackets because they are meant to be used in typical situations. The material that facilitates flotation in a PFD is placed on its back side, making the item less bulky to provide better comfort and mobility.


Life jackets tend to have bright colors like red, orange, yellow, blue, etc. so that they can be spotted easily from a distance. There is also a whistle attached to attract attention in a situation that requires rescuing. PFD's are also available in many colors but do not have a whistle because these devices are not meant to be used in emergency situations.

Need of life jackets for infants, toddlers, and children:

The possibility of accidental drowning is a common occurrence that many choose to ignore, thinking that they are already careful. But you can never obtain too much precaution to protect your little ones against unforeseen incidences, especially when they are in the water. There is no greater fear in the mind of a parent than the fear of safety for their children. This is why parents choose to take an extra layer of protection while taking their kids for boating or letting them just play in the pool.

Baby vests are available in many sizes and attractive colors so that your child is can still make a fashion statement while being safe in the water.

Types of Flotation Vests

PFD's and life jackets are often distinguished according to their Type; this determines the purpose for which they should be ideally used.

  • Type I: These jackets are mainly used in situations where rescue time would be longer and far away from the shore. Built to withstand rough situations, Type I PFDs are not used for protection of toddlers because parents prefer that their children stay close to the shore most of the time. In the case of an emergency landing of a plane on the water surface, this infant life vest will come in handy.
  • Type II: The common type of vest belong to the Type II PFD category and is used for near shore rescue. This jacket type comes with a head and neck support, which essentially holds a person's head in an upright position. Even though it is meant to be in situations where people may fall unconscious, this variety of life jacket works equally well for infants and toddlers do not have the necessary body control.
  • Type III: This jacket works more as a flotation aid rather than a safety mechanism to protect children. Type III PFDs are used by preschoolers who have some experience with swimming and more body control than infants. Children who weigh above 30 lbs are usually given these flotation devices. One disadvantage is that this sort of PFD does not have the capability to turn a person upright.

What's The Best Life Jacket For Kids?


Unisex Infant/Toddler Nemo Infant Life Jacket/Personal Floatation Device: With an average rating of 4.5 on Amazon, this all in one life jacket offers complete support to infants weighing a maximum of 30 lbs. It has been made from nylon and measures that 5 inches in height and 16 inches in width. It is a Type II PFD that has been made using 200 Denier oxford liner and shell; it also has an easy to adjust crotch strap, and quick release buckle placed over and the entry zipper for additional security.


Infant Stearns Antimicrobial Nylon Classic Series Personal Floatation Device: An all-time among parents, this PFD has been made of cross tech foam and a specially designed to be used by toddlers and infants. It has also been approved by the US Coast Guard and makes for a device to use while on the boat, lake or pool. There is a nifty rescue handle to pull the infant out of the water, adjustable straps for legs, chests, and zipper area with closed sides to make for a better fit. Children under 30 lbs should be able to use this remarkable life jacket with a greater degree of mobility.


Infant Puddle Jumper Hydroprene: This remarkably stylish life jacket will not only make your child to look exceptionally attractive but also provide an advanced level of protection. It has been approved by the US Coast Guard department and is rated high because of its lightweight and breathable hydroprene fabric. This infant life jacket is meant to be used by children who weigh 30 lbs or less and can effectively keep their heads afloat thanks to its oversized heads up support.


Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest: Approved by USCG, this life jacket offers complete head support panel with an additional safety loop. It has adjustable belts for safety between the leg area and contains the light in weight Fluid Foam Neoprene shell. This is another vest that is perfect for your child if he/she weighs under 30 pounds. It comes with quick-release safety buckles that act as the main USP of this device.


Infant Classic boating vest: An affordable yet highly rated solution comes in the form of this classic jacket that has been approved by the US Coast Guard. It best suits infants under 30 pounds in weight and offers proffer fit thanks to the closed sides. There are a grab handle and convenient leg strap for extra security.

How To Properly Fit  A Life Jacket


The right size for a youngster depends on her or his weight and not the chest size the way it does with adults.   The following are the 3 standard size ranges: Infant, Child and Youth.

Infant : 8 to 30 pounds

Child : 30 to 50 pounds

Youth : 50 to 90 pounds

Put the jacket on the child and inspect for wear and tear.                                                                                                                                                                                                                Make sure zippers, buckles and straps are not broken and are fully functioning.

Buckle up and tighten them securely.

Test by have the child lift up their arms. Carefully grasp jacket and lift up tugging slitghtly, if the life jacket stays on with out pulling up over the head it fits.

The Float Test:

The best way to test out your new life jacket is in a swimming pool. Your infant you can actually test in your bathtub. Place the life jacket on the child or infant, then gently place them face-down in the water. Be sure to talking soothing and make your child feel secure and loved.

If the jacket is properly fit , it should instantly pop the child over on his back, thus keeping the face out of the water, enabling them to breathe until rescued. Some children think this is fun and like the security of a lifejacket.

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