Mermaid tails pose safety hazard for young swimmers

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — 8 On Your Side wants parents to know about the dangers mermaid tails can pose to young swimmers. The tails, which parents can buy for as little as $20 on Amazon, could make swimming difficult.

Michelle Barnhill, Director of Dive Safety at Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, warns that the tails could pose a hazard.

“You don’t have feet all the sudden. And so your legs are together and when you want to try standing up, it’s very difficult because you do have a fin,” she explains.

She believes only kids that are strong swimmers should wear the tails. And even then, she recommends keeping kids in shallow water, and making sure an adult is closely supervising them in the pool. But she has an even stronger warning for parents that are thinking of allowing their kids to wear the tails at the beach.

“With the ocean you have the currents, you have the different waves, it’s just not a safe activity,” she said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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