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Just A Splash

The best pool gear for babes and tots

The Summer Solstice is today, and we’re thinking, Woo-hoo! It’s officially pool time, and every mom we know is scrambling for vests, wings, and all manner of flotation devices. So we asked our Scouts to recommend their favorite swim-time paraphernalia. But before we share their finds, please keep in mind this warning from Emily Samuel, water safety program manager for Safe Kids Worldwide: “Water wings, pool noodles, and other inflatables are not life saving devices and should never be used in place of adult supervision or a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.”

Our San Francisco Scout gives two thumbs up for the Swimways Baby Spring Float (for its sun canopy), and, if you’re going the noodle route, the Original Wacky Pool Noodle.

Our Dallas Scout is a big fan of Charlie Banana swim diapers, which she says work better than disposables at keeping, you know, stuff out of the pool. They’re also reusable and lined with organic cotton, so they score well on the eco-friendly scale, too.

Our publisher swears by the Coast Guard-approved swim vests from Super Soft for her toddler. One caveat: they are coated in vinyl. But at least that means they dry off really quickly.

Our Greenwich Scout ordered the amphibious baby carrier from OneStepAhead, which works as well in water as it does on dry land.

While Cabana Life has the most stylish rash guards we’ve seen, our Seattle Scout loves the excellent upper body coverage of the full zipper rash guards from Swim Zip. Our Chicago Scout says the full-body swimsuits from Coolibar are “a must for my little redhead.”

Our Hamptons Editor declares Speedo Junior Hydrospex goggles are “the best—no water gets in.”

And finally, the swim instructors we’ve polled tend to be anti-water wings, but if you’ve got your heart set on that that puff-around-the-arms look, try the Stearns Puddle Jumper—it kinda looks like water wings, but is actually a Coast Guard-approved flotation device.