Concerned grandparents have demonstrated just how dangerous floatation devices can be.

Holly Mueller took to her Facebook page to upload a video of her two-year-old granddaughter, Marissa, wearing what she and her husband thought was a life jacket.

In fact, the product, which looks just like a life jacket is actually a buoyancy device and is only meant to keep people afloat as they are treading water or swimming.

In the video, Marissa can be seen jumping into her grandad’s arms into the pool, wearing the buoyancy vest.

As soon as her grandfather lets her go, she flips over and ends up face down in the pool.

“You would think this would save your child. We used this life jacket in our pool and it absolutely tried to drown our child,” he can be heard saying in the video.

However, the ‘life jacket’ he’s talking about is actually a buoyancy vest, which both devices being completely different.

The video has now been watched over 20 million times on Facebook, and attracted nearly 555,000 shares.

However people were quick to point out the fact that they are two very different floatation aids.

One comment read, “Stop sharing this! The life jacket is the wrong life jacket for the child! The life jacket was also mislabeled for up to 50 pounds! This life jacket style is designed for infants to 30 pounds! Once a child is mobile they shouldn’t use this life jacket! They should use a life jacket without the head rest.”

“The real lesson here is to make sure you read labels and know what you’re buying your kids. This is not a life jacket it is a buoyancy vest.”

Another said, ” Infant life vests are designed for under 30lbs, and also designed to roll them onto their back. Lol been life vest shopping for my 2 year old and 5 year old. But the guy has a point, just wouldn’t put an under 50lb vest on such a little kid. Just have to read into what your buying, and whatever the situation is just be pro active.”

“Very important to pay attention to the printing on these items. That is a PFD, personal flotation device, NOT a life jacket. At the bottom of the printing it says not to attach the PFD to the boat. PFDs are designed to help keep a conscious person afloat, they’re less buoyant and less bulky and therefore more comfortable and provide more ease of motion. A life jacket is more buoyant and designed to flip the wearer onto their back.  This PFD is doing exactly what it was designed to do, allow ease of movement and buoyancy to the wearer.”

The facts

Both lifejackets and buoyancy aids will help support someone who falls into the water but only a life jacket can turn an unconscious wearer to face up and support them should they be unable to swim.

Buoyancy aids are exactly as they say – an aid to help keep a child afloat. It will keep the wearer buoyant in the water but the wearer will need to swim to keep afloat fully and should only be used if help is immediately at hand.

Share your comments below

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  • adults are the ones that should be there for safety.


  • flotation devices should always be used in conjuction with adult supervision. If something goes wrong then an adult is there to see the child is okay.


  • Children need to be constantly supervised near and in water!


  • Its really irrelevant because you should never take your eyes off kids around water. No matter what floatation devices they’re using.


  • Good to know the difference for young children.


  • Thanks for sharing, good to know the difference.


  • Wow that’s scary! Supervision is really the life saver, can never trust any product with your child’s life.

    • I really can’t see what this vest say’s …Any how for a pool …know what flotation devise you are purchasing, read all labels and read again, and most importantly SUPERVISE Supervise supervise.

      • I agree with these comments – nothing surpasses adult supervision.


  • Hmmmm, not sure what’s to blame here. I think the grandparents should have read the product label properly, it explains what the vest is for


  • Labels need to be really clear and easy to understand for these sorts of products.


  • Nothing beats adult supervision. Always.


  • The problems seems in the labeling thus. It’s supposed to say “below 30 lbs” and not 50.


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