Why One City Is Moving To Ban Mermaid Swimsuits

Mermaid-style swimsuits might seem like a fun idea for kids spending the day at the pool. But they can also pose a serious safety risk for children who can't swim well and could drown while wearing the suit.

Auckland, New Zealand, has moved to ban mermaid swimsuits, a.k.a. swimming bottoms that cover kids' entire legs and encase their feet inside a fin. The swimsuit style is already banned from public pools in the United Kingdom.

"While they are designed for competent swimmers to use in the water, even the manufacturers recommend one-to-one supervision, which we can't give in public pools," Rob McGee, Auckland council's leisure manager, told The Guardian.

The suits are a distraction for lifeguards; and for kids who aren't great swimmers, they can be pretty dangerous — children can have trouble floating in them. Even a spokesperson for Mermaiding NZ, which offers the swimsuits for purchase and rental, told The Guardian that the suits can be unsafe.

Experts now recommend that parents save the mermaid suits for swimming in personal pools at home, where they can provide one-on-one supervision for their children, which public pools can't offer. If you're still planning to buy a mermaid swimsuit for your child, make sure they're a competent swimmer and can stay afloat in the suit. Check out the suit's safety risks — luckily, the child in the video was okay — in the scary video, below.
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