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Expert advice

10th May 2024

Swimming coach warns parents not to put towel around kids’ shoulders

Sophie Collins


Parents are praising a certified swim instructor who has taken to TikTok to advise parents on the correct way to wrap their child in a towel to avoid injury.

Nikki Scarnati, who is also a water safety advocate and drowning prevention educator, has taken to TikTok to educate parents about the best way to dry off their child and wrap them up in a towel after they’ve been for a swim.

Although it is a minor adjustment to make, it could potentially save your little ones’ lives.

In the video, Nikki shows viewers “the proper way to put your towel around your child” by comparing it to the way most parents would normally do it.

She explains: “I see it happen so many times, and I myself, as a parent, did it without even realising it was a thing.”

Nikki then puts the towel over the kid’s shoulders to keep them snug and warm – the way most parents do.

However, Nikki explains: “If they were to fall in the pool this way, all of their limbs are going to be restricted under a wet towel.”

Instead, you should dry their arms first, then get your child to lift their arms in the air and wrap the towel around them.

Similar to the way an adult would wrap a towel around themselves after a shower: “That way, if they end up in the water, they still have access to their limbs to self-rescue and they’re that much safer,” Nikki said.

One TikToker responded to the video and said: “I can confirm this is true. When I was two I fell into the deep end of a rec pool with my towel on around my arms and I had to be rescued.”

A second person commented: “Also if they trip, they can catch themselves before hitting the ground.”

A third said: “That’s a great idea! I bought my son an oversized towel hoodie so his arms stay covered but he’s got mobility.”