YMCA bans popular pool toy at its Victorian pools amid drowning fears.

MERMAID tails were a very popular present beneath the Christmas trees this year, but the YMCA have banned the toy at its pools, of which there are more than 50 across Victoria, for fear that swimmers wearing them will drown.

This followed warnings from consumer group Choice and Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister Jane Garrett just last month.

The toys hinder children’s ability to move their legs while swimming.

mermaid tail

“The decision … is about ensuring the safety of all people swimming in our aquatic centres,” the YMCA’s Laura Munns said.

“This ban is in response to the dangers associated with these products … mermaid tails create an unnecessary risk to our patrons by restricting swimming ability.”

Matt Levey, director of campaigns and communications for consumer group Choice, said: “This move underlines the potential dangers of mermaid tails, and clearly some swimming facilities believe the risk is unacceptable.

“No matter where your child is swimming, consumers should be aware that these toys are not recommended for children under six years of age, and require strict adult supervision,” Mr Levey said.

The Consumer Affairs Minister urged parents who have bought the mermaid tails to exercise caution when their children are using the toy.

“Mermaid tails are a new craze among kids, but we are urging parents to check the age warnings before buying,” Ms Garrett said.

“The tail binds a child’s legs together, which could have tragic consequences if they are not old enough, or a strong swimmer.”

While many consumers believe it is all about common sense and supervision, others do believe if this ban saves just one life then it is definitely worth supporting!

Share your thoughts below.

Image: Stock photo

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  • My six year old has one but only for the bath tub. Would never allow her to use one in a swimming area. Yes we gave into her and brought her one with that restriction. She can also use it on dry land for play times.


  • They look like fun but would be a pain to try to swim in


  • I saw this and I’m so glad they have been banned but why only in one state?


  • I wasn’t aware of these mermaid tails. Sounds like a fun idea but not at all practical. The ban makes more sense.


  • Accident waiting to happen, sure they are cute but impractical and very dangerous


  • This is a wise move!


  • Our local pool has also banned the mermaid tails.


  • Over 40 years ago my Uncle said he reckoned the ring ones weren’t safe. One thing he said that I will never forget. He died shortly after from a massive heart attack. His theory was If they are too big and slide down low on your body It can be dangerous if your face goes into the water as you do down head first especially a young child, a weak swimmer or learner. He witnessed a near drowning and told my parents in front of my brother and I.


  • I can’t believe these have even been allowed to be sold. They are dangerous for anyone who is not an experienced swimmer – let alone young children. Good on the YMCA for banning them.


  • My thoughts are it should be banned in all of australia


  • Toy manufacturers don’t think of the practicalities of these kinds of toys. They should never assume that there will always be parental supervision either.


  • wow i really can\’t believe that this got out there in the first place! it is obviously restrictive so of course it is not safe. wow. good move! thanks Tracy for making us mums aware of this!


  • Wow what dangerous thing to be given as a gift I am so pleased they have been banned


  • here here to banning them

    My daughter learns to swim like a mermaid at her swimming lessons, and they dont use mermaid tail products.

    I hope no little girl looses her life because of this fad


  • I completely agree. I don’t find them safe at all.


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