Why this country is banning…mermaid tail swimsuits?

Who didn’t want to be a mermaid when they were younger? Beautiful long hair, beautiful singing voice, and most importantly, the coolest tail in the world — that glitters. Well now, toddlers and adults alike have the opportunity to feel just like a mermaid while they swim. Spandex mermaid tails have been on the market for a few years now, made by companies like Lycra and Aquatails. The websites emphasize the swimsuits’ safety. And as long as the children have swimming experience and are supervised, the companies claim there should be no issue. But this has not been found to be the case in the New Zealand City of Auckland.

Recently, a video was posted to Facebook by a mother who was swimming with her daughter, when her daughter tried to do a flip in her new mermaid swimming tail, only to be unable to flip herself back over once in the water. The mother rushed to action and yanked her daughter out of the pool. These swimsuits, which completely encase the wearers legs, have already been banned in U.K. public pools.

“While they are designed for competent swimmers to use in the water, even the manufacturers recommend one-to-one supervision, which we can’t give in public pools,” Rob McGee, Auckland council’s leisure manager, told The Guardian.

Auckland has banned the tails in their public pools as well, and are asking parents to keep a close eye on their kids in their private pools. A spokeswoman for Facebook group Mermaiding NZ explained the purpose of the mermaid tails. “Lycra mermaid tails are a magical way to have fun in the water. For a four-year-old who wants to use it in a backyard 10ft paddling pool that’s waist deep, it’s probably not [safe]. I don’t sell them any more, and in fact sold less than 20 at the end of 2014. I wasn’t prepared to take the risk of them being used by non-competent swimmers.”

Hopefully, this ban in public pools will bring awareness to the issue and remind people to watch their kids when swimming at home!

(Image via Disney.)