Children like sharks. They also tend to be pretty big fans of whales, along with just about anything else that swims in the ocean. Given this fact, Opa Cove's Sea Squirt is actually a pretty clever idea – it's a neoprene life vest for kids that doubles as a sea creature costume, complete with a flexible dorsal fin on the back. Not only might it cause the rug rats to actually want to wear a flotation device, but adults can pluck them out of harm's way simply by grabbing the vest's fin and neck opening.
The company also makes a Sea Squirt swim assist. It's similar to the life vest, although its buoyancy can be altered by removing one or more of its three flotation panels, which can be accessed through a Velcro opening in the back of the vest – the more proficient of a swimmer a child becomes, the more panels can be removed. Adults can help in the learning-to-swim process by holding children up and steering them along via the fin.
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The Sea Squirt life vest and swim assist are available in three sizes, in designs that currently include clownfish, great white shark, pink dolphin, blue dolphin, and "Killa Whale." They can be purchased via Opa Cove's website, at a price of US$69.95 for the life vests, and $59.95 for the swim assists.View gallery - 4 images