Mermaid Tails: A Danger in the Pool
In recent months, Redwoods has received several inquiries from our customers about “mermaid tails.” These are widely available products that allow children, and sometimes adults, to pretend to swim like an actual mermaid.
Our recommendation: No mermaid tails in public pools
Our advice has been consistent: We strongly recommend not allowing the use mermaid tails and similar ‘mono-fin’ appendages in your pool. Doug Page, our Chief Risk Officer and Senior Vice President of Consulting, explains why we are making this recommendation:
“There are two main reasons these products are a cause for concern. Firstly, even their manufacturers state that they require you to be a strong swimmer in order to use them safely. But testing who is and who is not able to swim with a tail adds an unnecessary layer of complexity to managing your pool. Secondly, and this is rarely addressed in many of the discussions, aquatic safety isn’t just about any one individual—these tails are bulky and hard to control, so there’s a strong risk they could strike other pool users, making the pool environment riskier for everyone.”
Even supervised use is not recommended
In addition to the question of individual pool users, some Redwoods customers have also been approached regarding other scenarios including:
- Mermaid Pool Parties: In which a performer in a fin costume performs for the children, after which party goers can have their photograph taken with the mermaid.
- Mermaid Aquatic Classes: In which children are taught to swim safely with a mermaid tail, potentially then only allowing children who have passed a test to use a tail in your pool.
In both of these instances, Redwoods’ recommendation is still to ban all use of mermaid tails and similar products from your pool. Modeling unsafe behavior in front of children, even by a trained professional, can lead to those children taking unnecessary risks. Similarly, if we allow some children to be tested in the use of tails, we create social pressure for other kids who may want to swim with tails but are unable to pass the test—potentially running the risk that they will go ahead anyway.
Too many potential risks
Ultimately, Redwoods believes that encouraging new ways for children to enjoy the water is an important way to promote swimming, but aquatic safety must be a priority. There are just too many uncertainties about the safety of these tails to allow their use in a public pool. There are many other ways that we can encourage swimming and enjoyment of the water without putting our pool users in unnecessary danger.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, comments or concerns. Thank you for keeping your pool users safe.