The mermaid tail trend is picking up pace. In response to the increased interest in the alternative aquatic activity, I recently posted a blog sharing some of the media coverage, as well as asking readers to participate in a brief survey regarding their knowledge of the trend.
Not surprisingly, 83 percent of the respondents were familiar with mermaid tails, and 69 percent believed they posed a serious safety issue. However, only 20 percent said they should be banned from use in public facilities, while another 50 percent said they should only be allowed to be used under direct supervision or during a class.
Perhaps more interesting than the survey results were the comments provided by some of the participants.
For example, one aquatics coordinator for a facility in Erie, Colo., said that it banned the use of mermaid tails a number of years ago because of a potential safety issue. Meanwhile, others had never heard of the trend. However, one person had an interesting take on the issue:
"Coming up with new ideas and activities to keep aquatics fresh always is difficult so I'm up for something new. Always try if it doesn't work then don't do it again."
A few agreed that using them under supervision was better than having them used where no one is watching.
"Education and training is key to ensuring that all that use the mermaid tails are safe," another participant shared.
Unfortunately, one reader reported that it's typically weak swimmers who want to use the tails. As a result, the facility has added to its member handbook that tails are not permitted.
One employee at a YMCA says the facility recently purchased one and can be used as long as a parent is in the pool with the child wearing the tail.
Lastly, one reader offered a word of caution I had not come across during my research: follow the instructions.
"Manufacturers' guidelines on the tails say they must be used with a life jacket. The minute a facility or person does not follow recommended guidelines [they] are liable," he/she warned.
Did you miss the survey the first time around? Take it now and let us know your thoughts on the mermaid tail trend.