Swimming Instructor Warns Parents Not To Put Towel Around Kids’ Shoulders

Swimming Instructor’s Warning: Don’t Put Towel Around

A swimming instructor’s advice on towel usage has garnered praise from parents on social media. Nikki Scarnati, a certified ISR swim instructor, water safety advocate, and drowning prevention educator, took to TikTok to educate parents on the correct way to dry off and wrap their children in a towel after swimming. This simple adjustment could potentially save lives.

The Common Mistake

In a TikTok video, Nikki demonstrates the typical way most parents wrap a towel around their child’s shoulders. She highlights that many people, including herself as a parent, do this without realizing it’s potentially unsafe. While this method may seem natural, it can restrict a child’s arms if they were to fall into the pool.

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

The Safer Technique

Nikki suggests an alternative method to ensure the safety of children. She advises parents to dry their child’s arms first and then have the child lift their arms while the towel is wrapped around them, similar to how one would dry themselves after a shower. By doing this, children retain access to their limbs, enabling them to self-rescue in case they end up in the water.

“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 explains.


Positive Response

Parents have shown overwhelming support for Nikki’s tip, thanking her for raising awareness of this issue. Several TikTok users shared personal experiences that highlight the importance of the advice. One user mentioned falling into a deep end with a towel wrapped around their arms, requiring rescue. Others noted that this technique also helps children maintain balance and catch themselves if they trip.

Suggestions and Alternatives

While the majority of viewers appreciated the advice, some expressed concerns about their child potentially removing the towel or feeling cold without it. Nikki suggested using different towel styles, such as terrycloth robes, which can be worn after swimming to keep the child warm and allow mobility.


By making a small adjustment in how towels are used after swimming, parents can significantly improve the safety of their children. Nikki’s informative TikTok video has sparked widespread appreciation and recognition of the potential risks associated with wrapping towels around children’s shoulders.

Leave a Reply