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TIPS-tested Swimava Active Baby Bath and Swim Ring - 2009 and 2012 Print E-mail

TIPS-tested Swimava Active Baby Bath and Swim Ring - 2009 and 2012

See how much fun Little TIPS Testers have with their swim ring

- here is Little Eoghainn

- and another Little One..

I am delighted to bring you the results of our latest one-off trial.

Our first Swimava trial took place in 2009. This innovative range of products has changed since then. Mike and Anna Cai, co-founders of the Swimava brand, used TIPS Parent Testers' reviews to improve and develop their products.

In 2009 5 Parent Testers reviewed the Swimava Swim Ring and Swimava Baby Bath, and 5 others tested the swim ring on its own. Swimava found the feedback from the first trial so valuable that they asked us to set-up a much larger trial. The results of both trials are published here.

Read more about this trial by clicking on the links below:




Review - Clever idea Award

 

Swimava Swim Ring - 2012 trial

RRP £25 (include VAT and delivery in the UK)

Supplied and manufactured by Swimava International Ltd  (Hong Kong, USA,  Canada, Japan, EU and UK)

Website: www.swimava.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Swimava

Twitter: twitter.com/#!/SwimavaBabySwim

 

At the beginning of the 2011-2012 Swimava trial, which took many months to complete, a couple of our Parent Testers filmed their babies enjoying the Swimava Swim Ring. We published these videos online and let other Swimava Testers know where they could view the clips. This proved extremely reassuring for any Testers who may have been anxious about using the swim ring with their baby. As with the 2009 trial, Parent Testers’ first impression of the Swimava Swim Ring was one of cautious concern. This product is designed to support babies as young as three months in relatively deep water, either in a bath tub, a Swimava baby bath or swimming pool, so it is not surprising that parents would react in this way. The fact that the Swimava Swim Ring had already achieved a TIPS Innovation Award was extremely helpful to Parent Testers involved in this trial - this shows the positive effect of the TIPS Award Scheme. Although a few of the older babies refused to wear the swim ring, most loved using their swim ring and quickly became confident in the water.

Most Parent Testers thought the swim ring was easy to inflate with the small hand pump provided - although some found the instructions slightly confusing, for a number of reasons. Many Parents found the handles at the bottom of the swim ring very useful when guiding baby around the pool. Some babies even held on to the handles while playing in the water. Parents who used the swim ring with older babies said they would have liked to use this product earlier and plan to use the swim ring with their next baby from a younger age.

Many Parent Testers who used the swim ring at the swimming pool had to put up with disapproving looks from other parents and life guards (we had similar feedback in 2009). This was especially unwelcome for Parent Testers who now felt confident about using the swim ring. Parents and lifeguards alike will hopefully be less critical of the Swimava swim ring when it becomes more familiar.  Most participants in this trial delighted at the pleasure their babies experienced while using the swim ring. Some even found that their baby slept better and for longer periods after using their swim ring. Two Parent Testers were so impressed with the swim ring that they published reviews on their personal blogs. (See: http://bit.ly/N0eczB and http://bit.ly/LA6ImX ).

We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from Testers involved in the larger trial of the Swimava Swim Ring, with many suggesting it should get another TIPS award. We are therefore delighted that in addition to the TIPS Innovation award gained in 2009, the Swimava Swim Ring has been awarded a Clever idea Award.


Here is what some of the Testers said:
  • The product was very well packaged, I liked the colours and it seemed nicely compact compared to my current swim seat.
  • I liked the zipped waterproof bag it came in.
  • I was initially worried about the ring going around my daughter’s neck but this hasn’t been a problem and doesn’t bother her. It fits snuggly, securely, comfortably and is not too bulky
  • It's a great size - I get public transport and carry it home still blown up and it was no problem. The fit is amazing... I thought it would leave a mark on her neck and it didn't at all!
  • I was very happy with the fit of the ring. It was very secure and I had no concerns about the fit. Even before it was clipped shut it seemed very secure.
  • I thought it would be hard to hold my little girl and put the ring on but it was easy.
  • Yes she was very happy in it & I tested it quite rigorously
  • My baby definitely enjoyed it and we were asked by lots of people where I got the swim ring from.
  • A bit unsure at first but soon all smiles and kicking and splashing her arms.
  • Loved it! It was the first time she has been swimming and there were no tears what so ever, I think she was confident in the ring because we had already used in the bath a few nights in a row first.
  • Yes! Loved it. especially loved that she could kick her legs about and go from mummy to daddy in the pool
  • She honestly absolutely loved every second of it, she loved having the freedom in the water, especially in the swimming pool where a normal swimming ring restricted my daughter from splashing
  • At first she did not enjoy it but by the 4th time we used it, she had gotten used to me putting it on her & then started to enjoy the freedom of her arms & legs being completely free from me.
  • I really like the fact that it inflates in two separate compartments so that if one was to deflate for some reason you have the reassurance of the other compartment to keep little one safe.
  • I loved the overall concept of keeping babies head safely above water.
  • I love the little bells inside the ring; my son seems to love that noise.
  • The handles underneath were great, my baby has started to grab them now too when she is moving about in the water.
  • The handles were ingenious - they really support baby and make him feel safe
  • The independence it gave my baby in the pool


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2009 Review - Innovation Award

 

Swimava Active Baby Bath and Swim Ring - 2009 trial

RRP £99: baby swim ring, baby bath, 2 hand pumps, patch kit and nappy (All prices include VAT and delivery in the UK)

Baby bath dimensions: inner diameter 75cm; outer diameter 90cm; overall height: 65cm; capacity 230L (50 gallons).

Manufacturer/supplier: Cai Trading Ltd - USA Canada, Japan, EU and UK

Supplied and manufactured by Swimava International Ltd (Hong Kong, USA, Canada, Japan, EU and UK)

Website: www.swimava.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Swimava

Twitter: twitter.com/#!/SwimavaBabySwim

 

Testers’ first reaction to the Swimava products was one of cautious concern - this is to be expected when considering a product designed to support babies as young as one month in deep water, either a deep bath, a Swimava baby bath or a swimming pool.

Having worked closely with the company who distribute Swimava products for many weeks, I was confident that such initial doubts would soon be overcome. I am delighted to report this is exactly what happened.

Swimava take many steps to reassure parents. They provide excellent safety guidelines (these are so comprehensive that one couple were almost too scared to use the product!); online video clips of Ava using the swim ring (Ava is the inspiration behind the name Swimava); and offer a 30 day return guarantee. With this information, Testers went on to enthusiastically test the baby bath or swim ring. All Testers agreed that their initial concerns, while understandable, were unjustified and they were rewarded with happy babies who not only enjoyed their independent water play but some even went on to sleep better!

Testers were impressed by the use of quality materials and the pleasing unisex colour-way (see picture). With its adjustable neck, integral floating shapes and handles perfectly positioned for babies to hold onto under the water, Testers found the swim ring easy to inflate and fit onto their baby. The baby bath was more complicated to set-up. It was bigger than expected, but perfect to support a baby treading water - providing enough room to move around unaided. Testers suggested that an electric pump and some sort of device to help empty the water could be provided with the baby bath.

Testers who used the swim ring at the public pool had to cope with disapproving looks from parents and life guards. This was especially unwelcome by Testers who were totally confident of the many benefits this swim ring offered to them and their babies.

Despite these minor misgivings Testers were amazed at the pleasure this simple pastime could provide. Babies quickly developed the confidence to kick and tread water independently - this is vital when learning to swim.

Here are some of the Testers’ comments:

  • The info tells you everything you need to know and I like watching the videos of happy babies using the product!
  • Before trying it on my baby I tested it round the neck of my toddler and it was fine
  • My baby loves the wee handles to hold onto and the moving shapes inside the ring are a nice touch
  • My baby LOVES it so that put my mind at ease regarding the fit
  • The two air compartments of the ring allow you to deflate the ring for individual fit plus the two fastenings give you extra reassurance
  • The size is just right, its shape is fine and it fits perfectly
  • She absolutely unequivocally loved it!
  • I let go and she was moving herself up and down the bath beaming at me the whole time
  • Although she has never minded the bath it is the first time she seems to have actually enjoyed herself!
  • I like how much my baby like it – she can swim around confidently without clinging on to me
  • I like that it gets us to the swimming pool more often!
  • It tired her out and she slept for five hours after her morning swim
  • She was extremely happy for a lot longer than she would normally stay in the bath
  • I liked the fact that his head and face were kept safely and securely away from the water

In fact, so positive was the feedback that some Testers wanted to know if the swim ring was available in a larger size for toddlers. In acknowledgement of this company’s hard work and attention to detail, we are delighted to declare the Swimava Active Baby Bath and Swim Ring a worthy winner of a TIPS Innovation Award.


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Overview

 

Only products that comply with our strict criteria can be submitted for a TIPS trial – this is part of our robust selection process explained in the ‘Methodology and criteria’ section below. This means that any product accepted to go through to the testing programme is already a winner.

When selected for a trial, volunteer Parent Testers receive products to test and are asked to provide their comments using a detailed questionnaire. Testers’ feedback is collated, evaluated and reviewed by Sharon Trotter.

On completion of the judging process, awards are confirmed and the results are published on the TIPS website.

I would also like to say a special thank you to our team of dedicated parent testers whose comments and detailed feedback allow the TIPS testing programme to achieve a level of independence and impartiality that is second to none.

Please note that products tested by TIPS are not free or promotional products, but samples for the sole purpose of independent testing. Only Testers who have agreed and signed a copy of the TIPS Award Scheme terms and conditions can take part in a TIPS trial.

 

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Methodology and criteria

The decision to undertake a TIPS One-off Trial is based on a product’s unique features. We decided to go ahead with a TIPS trial of the Swimava range of products because they:

  • let babies get used to being in water in a safe and warm environment – the Swimava active baby bath provides a safe alternative to chlorinated pools which can irritate young skin
  • introduce babies to a freedom of movement in water as they learn to tread water - this is the first step to learning to swim
  • promote early physical activity and build confidence
  • provide a gentle baby work-out which should help them sleep

89 Parent Testers participated in this trial. The swim ring was used with babies between 3 and 23 months old. Participants used the swim ring 1 to 20 times over a period of 1 to 12 weeks. Four families with twins or babies close in age got two swim rings to review. In total 95 swim rings were sent between early December 2011 and March 2012. We received 68 completed questionnaires - a very healthy return rate of 74 per cent.

These results will give Swimava the chance to consider the views of many more Parent Testers. It will assess the success of changes already made to the Swimava range after the 2009 TIPS trial and should highlight the need for any future development. 

 

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Guidelines on how to test (2012)

In this trial, we are testing the Swimava swim ring with babies aged between 3 and 18 months. This will enable us to carry out a comprehensive assessment of this innovative product.

If you use the swim ring in a bath tub, don't add baby bath products to the water. Do keep in mind that even plain water can be drying so if your baby suffers from dry skin make sure your baby is not in the bath for more than ten minutes at a time.

I look forward to collating your feedback and comments on this exciting product. I hope it will bring a new dimension to bath time for you and your baby. Please feel free to tell me exactly what you think, good or bad. This information will be made available to the supplier. My aim is to provide them with data that will enable them to improve their products for you, the customer.

 

How to test

1. Read the instructions provided with the Swimava ring carefully (whether you intend to use the swim ring in the bath or at the pool). This tells you how to:

  • inflate the swim ring
  • place the swim ring on your baby
  • test the water and adjust the water level
  • place your baby in the water, and
  • take your baby out of the water

2. When testing the Swimava ring, remember:

  • Before and after carrying out any baby-care it is very important to wash your hands thoroughly – this is the simplest and most effective way to prevent cross-infection.
  • If you are using the Swimava ring in the bath make sure the room is free from draughts and at a constant temperature (around 18 to 20 degrees Celsius).
  • Due to the increased surface area to body mass ratio, a baby is at higher risk from loosing heat. This is why it is important to deeply submerge your baby while at the same time supporting their head above the water - with the help of the Swimava ring - to prevent them from swallowing water.
  • Skin-to-skin contact, even through water, is known to be a wonderful way to provide your baby with extra security. It also promotes a close attachment that can lead to a happier and more contented baby.
  • Sensory stimulation involving warmth, touch and smell (through baby massage, bathing and skin-to-skin contact) is an extremely powerful stimulant. Doing these things with your baby from an early age can help them be calmer and help you to understand your baby better.

3. Before completing the questionnaire

I would like you to use the Swimava ring with your baby at least seven times so you can comment fully and give your thoughts on what works well and what maybe doesn’t. You should then complete the questionnaire.


If you test the Swimava ring in the bath, remember to follow this safety advice:

  • Fill the bath with hand-hot water. Test the temperature with your elbow or with a bath thermometer.  The temperature of the water should be between 35 and 37 degrees Celsius.
  • Do not use any bath products.
  • Never leave a baby unattended in their bath, not even for a second.
  • Full baths (whatever their design) must never be left unattended while toddlers are around.

 


Completing the questionnaire

 

There are four sections in the questionnaire:

 

  • The product: in this section, we ask about the packaging, design and information provided.
  • Use of product: this includes questions about ease of use, bath time enjoyment, baby skincare, cleaning and parents’ back strain.
  • Feedback: in this section, we ask you to comment on your favourite features, suggest improvements, and tell us whether you believe the product provides good value.
  • Awards: in this section, you can suggest an award for the Swimava ring.

 

As you can see, there are many aspects of design to assess when testing this product. A swim ring must be designed to keep your baby safe and secure in water. This can only be achieved when manufacturers use top quality materials and pay close attention to detail when designing their products.

Thank you again for all your hard work. You can be sure that your independent testing and comments will help to give parents the best and most unbiased advice available.

Kindest regards

Sharon Trotter - Founder and Director of TIPS Ltd

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

References:

The baby skincare information included in these guidelines is taken from the latest : Babycare back to basics™ leaflet (V8 2011). This is updated regularly in line with current evidence and the latest Postnatal Care Guidelines (NICE 2006).

Anderson G C, Moore E, Hepworth J & Bergman N (2004) Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, issue 1. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Uvnas-Moberg K (1998). Oxytocin may mediate the benefits of positive social interactions and emotions. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 23: 819-35.

Disclaimer: TIPS Ltd is not responsible or liable for any failings of products or product information provided to Testers during a TIPS trial. The responsibility remains with the individual manufacturer.

©Sharon Trotter 2012

 

 


Guidelines on how to test (2009)

 

This trial will be carried out by ten Parent Testers with babies aged between one and 10 months (five will be testing the bath and ring set while five will be testing the swim ring only).

I would like you to use the Swimava active baby bath and swim ring for at least one week (or longer if you wish) so you can comment fully and give me your thoughts on what works and what maybe doesn’t. You can then complete the questionnaire.

Please take time to read the following information before you start testing the bath.

 

 


Safety first

  • Fill the Swimava active baby bath with hand-hot water. Test the temperature with your elbow or with a bath thermometer. The temperature of the water should be between 35 and 37 degrees Celsius.
  • Do not use any bath products.
  • Never leave a baby unattended in their bath, not even for a second.
  • Full baths (whatever their design) must never be left unattended while toddlers are around.

Things to remember when testing the Swimava active baby bath:

  • Before and after carrying out any baby-care it is very important to wash your hands thoroughly – this is the simplest and most effective way to prevent cross-infection.
  • Wash your Swimava active baby bath before you start testing – this is to make sure it is clean and free from any bacterial residue.
  • You can wash the Swimava active baby bath with a mild solution of soapy water. Do make sure it is well rinsed so there is no detergent residue. Alternatively you can wipe down your bath, change area and nappy bucket using Milton solution (30mls Milton fluid in 5 litres of water will last for 24 hours) to keep it free from germs.
  • Make sure the room is free from draughts and at a constant temperature (around 18 to 20 degrees Celsius).
  • Choose a suitable place to stand your Swimava active baby bath. Make sure it is on a flat surface and preferably close to the water supply – this will save you having to carry it far and allow you to top up with extra water if needed.
  • Follow the instructions provided with the Swimava products.
  • Water in this Swimava active baby bath deep fill design is likely to remain warmer for longer. This has the advantage of being energy-efficient and comfortable for your baby.
  • Due to the increased surface area to body mass ratio, a baby is at higher risk from loosing heat. This is why it is important to deeply submerge your baby while at the same time supporting their head above the water - with the help of the Swimava baby swim ring - to prevent them from swallowing water.
  • Skin-to-skin contact, even through water, is known to be a wonderful way to provide your baby with extra security. It also promotes a close attachment that can lead to a happier and more contented baby (Anderson 2004).
  • Sensory stimulation involving warmth, touch and smell (through baby massage, bathing and skin-to-skin contact) is an extremely powerful stimulant. By introducing these experiences from an early age you increase the likelihood that your baby will be calmer and your parental behaviours will be enhanced. (Uvnas-Moberg 1998).[back to top]

 

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Completing the questionnaire

 

There are four sections in the questionnaire:

  • The product: in this section, we ask about the packaging, design and information provided.
  • Use of product: this includes questions about ease of use, bath time enjoyment, baby skincare, cleaning and parents’ back strain.
  • Feedback: in this section, we ask you to comment on your favourite features, suggest improvements, and tell us whether you believe the product provides good value.
  • Awards: in this section, you can suggest an award for the Swimava products.


As you can see, there are many aspects of design to assess when testing these products. A well-designed baby bath will fulfil all the needs of parent and child, and improve the whole bathing experience. A bath must be easy to use. It must be designed to keep your baby safe and secure. This can only be achieved when manufacturers use top quality materials and pay close attention to detail when designing their products.

I hope you will agree that Swimava fulfils this criteria.

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Please note that products tested by TIPS are not free or promotional products, but samples for the sole purpose of independent testing. All Testers must agree and sign a copy of the TIPS Award Scheme terms and conditions before taking part in a TIPS trial.


References: The baby skincare information included in these guidelines is copied from my leaflet: Babycare back to basics™ (Trotter 2009). This is updated regularly in line with current evidence and the latest Postnatal Care Guidelines (NICE 2006).

Anderson G C, Moore E, Hepworth J & Bergman N (2004) Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, issue 1. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Uvnas-Moberg K (1998). Oxytocin may mediate the benefits of positive social interactions and emotions. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 23: 819-35.

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Disclaimer. TIPS Ltd is not responsible or liable for any failings of products that have been submitted for the testing programme. The responsibility remains with the individual manufacturer. Research is constantly changing and whilst every effort is made by TIPS Ltd to ensure the information contained in the guidelines is accurate and up-to-date, parent testers must still be encouraged to seek the advice of their midwife, health visitor, lactation consultant or GP if they have any concerns.

TIPS Ltd© 2009

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Swimava Active Baby Bath and Swim Ring

 

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