Flotation devices banned from La Crosse beaches and pools

By: Sarah Moon
By: Sarah Moon

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- If you bring your kids to the pool or beach in one city, you’re going to have to leave the flotation devices at home.

Emily Anderson is a nanny.

She said she wishes flotation devices were allowed at pools and beaches in La Crosse.

“Being a nanny and having three little ones, it would be nice to have flotation devices, just so you don’t have to have hands on them all of the time,” said Anderson.

Steve Briggs with La Crosse Parks and Recreation said flotation devices aren’t needed if lifeguards are on duty.

He also said flotation devices can puncture or slide off.

“If they’re constantly in the water with the flotation device on, if one time they don’t have it on and they’re not familiar with it, that’s when panic may set in, and they you would have a disastrous situation there,” said Briggs.

Briggs said flotation devices aren’t allowed at pools and beaches in La Crosse, because they provide a false sense of security, and some parents want to use them instead of watching their kids.

And some agree.

“It brings a false sense of security to the child. Sometimes the parents aren’t watching them as much, because they rely on the floating device,’ said Lynn Spicer.

Briggs said swimming lessons are a good way to get familiar with the water.

“It is absolutely the most important thing about being around water is to learn to swim, and to be comfortable in the water,” said Briggs.

La Crosse does allow flotation devices if someone doesn’t have use of their arms or legs.

We checked and found many other towns and cities have similar floatation bans in place like Onalaska, Holmen and Chippewa Falls.

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