Tuesday, June 7, 2011

If it’s Tuesday it must be toys and tours

"Brown Teddy Bear" by Lydia Jacobs

Welcome to the newest edition of, “If it’s Tuesday it must be toys and tours.”

With the dog days of summer fast approaching, swimming and water-play are the most favorite forms of outdoor entertainment, and today we’ll introduce you to websites that help you find the best beaches, public pools, swimming safety information, along with in-home pools and simple gear to help beginning swimmers. We’ll also take a look at the most recent toy product recalls. 


Water Gear Back Float, Progressive Split Float (Orange)


Teaching a child to swim is one of the most important skills that will provide a lifetime of safe and fun exercise. This floatation device, designed for the very youngest, is water resistant, soft on the body, buckles easily on the back of young swimmers, and allows free arm motion. The split float feature provides for proper adjustment as a child’s skill increases.

This device, always used with adult supervision, is initially best utilized with a “pool noodle” or small life buoy ring as the backpack causes the swimmer to assume a position facing downward.  As confidence builds and children get used to putting their face in the water, the additional flotation devices, could be removed.

The Water Gear Back Float retails for $10.95 through Amazon.com, where you will also find consumer reviews and a video of the product in use.


Wild Planet Dive Balls


Once a child gains swimming confidence, diving fun can be taught with dive balls. These three colorful balls come with directions for two easy and fun games. The balls have Neoprene fabric tails, which are easy to grab when they sink to the bottom of the pool.  Because there are small parts, this product is not recommended for children under three years of age.

Wild Planet Dive Balls retail for $9.99 at Amazon.com where you will also find more product news and consumer reviews.


'Swimming Pool' by Peter Griffin
Swimmers Guide, a fabulous online resource in helping families find year-round swimming pools, is the most comprehensive website of this kind on the Internet.

The database on Swimmers Guide boasts that it “lists 18,825 facilities with 20,128 full-size, year-round swimming pools in 10,695 cities and towns in 167 countries.”

Each listing includes the name, address and telephone of the facility (for checking rates and hours of operation) and information on special discounts, aquatic programs and much more. There are also 11, 534-map links with directions.

Finding a swimming pool near home or when on vacation just got a little easier.


‘Beach’ by Bobby Mikul

For those of you that prefer a day at the beach, the Travel Channel provides an online resource that includes beaches in the United States and countries as far flung as Australia.

Each easy-to-access listing not only provides information about the beach, but sight-seeing opportunities and places of interest.


In-home/ in-ground pools are a swimmer’s dream, but for most families the cost of installing an in-ground pool is prohibitive, but there are options in the above-ground category, that by comparison offer a good alternative.

In selecting an above-ground pool, always keep in mind the actual space with level ground that you will need to provide on your property, and when assembling these models, allow for extra time above and beyond manufacturers directions.

As with an in-ground pool, there are also maintenance issues, so be sure that the commitment for care and upkeep will be a family activity.

Intex Ultra Frame 18-by-9-Foot-by-52-Inch Rectangular Pool Set

This large size family pool is fabricated with rust-resistant metal beams with joints that snap together for the do-it-yourselfer. The rectangular shape allows for swimming laps and pool games. A filter pump, ladder, ladder barrier, volleyball set, deluxe main kit, ground cloth, cover and DVD are included with the pool.

The Intex Ultra Frame retails for $849.99 and includes free shipping through Amazon.com where you will find product reviews, further details and links to larger versions of the same pool.

If ground space is an issue, and all your looking for is a pool to provide exercise, the iPool Above Ground Exercise Swimming Pool is a fine option.

The iPool measures 10 by 6.5 feet (approximately 65 square feet) and has a depth of 3.10 feet that holds 1,500 gallons of water. The pool comes with a cover and a Velcro strap harness that allows you to get your exercise by swimming “in-place.”

The iPool retails for $990.00 and ships free from Amazon.com. There is  a slightly better price from a new Amazon Marketplace vendor for $899.00 plus shipping of $78.49.

The following is a compilation of notices from the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).
Below you will find the most recent recalls and product news updates from the CPSC for the last seven days.

In case you happened to have missed any of the announcements, just click on the following links for complete information on each of the items and breaking news.



No new sports related recalls since May 31, 2011.


There is an entire section, “Pool Safely” at the CPSC website that covers pool safety for homes and public venues. Please take time to familiarize you and your family with this important site that contains everything from past pool product recalls to safety awareness along with helpful videos.

If you are searching for other consumer product items such as household, outdoor products, utensils, furniture and clothing that may relate to all family members, please review additional listings at the CPSC’s search page.

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