As swimming skills improve, air can be pressed out of the cushion to increase independence. In case you are still fighting a fear of water as an adult, the Schlori Swim Cushions are approved to work for adults up to 60kg (132 pounds), although it appears demand has not yet triggered a slightly more dignified fabric pattern for mature customers. They are also a great for anyone who needs a bit of assistance due to physical restrictions.
The two pillows are fastened by a bowtie or knot on the back of the child, which improves the safety as it is difficult for a child to remove by themself. However, please note: no swim assist device will prevent drowning, so parental attention is always required. Users claim the cloth tie is comfortable, not binding and will not pinch as some plastic devices do.
The concept is reported to have one drawback: with no plastic valves, blowing air into the pillows takes a bit of learning. The pillows may also lose some air until they are fully saturated, but since they are designed for considerably more support than the average child needs, this should not be cause for concern.
Another drawback: the Schlori company is not represented outside of Germany, Switzerland and Spain. The company will direct-sell through the Schlori website, but it is not very English friendly. But an English brochure with instructions for use and care is available, so if you can work out how to place an order, you should be able to use your Schloris on receipt.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, "Schlori" comes from the German for "learn to swim without risk" (Schwimmen lernen ohne risiko). [by Â© C. Lepisto, 2005]