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08 Dec, Thursday
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Montreal Families

A spa experience just for babies

Ling Yun Zhao’s says her baby daughter Simona loves the water, so during a visit to Zhao’s native China, the pair checked out a baby spa. Popular in China, the spas outfit babies with floatation devices and let them glide through the water while mom and/or dad look on. Simona, who was an infant at the time, loved the experience, and Zhao says she loved witnessing the joy it brought her. When she returned to Canada, Zhao decided to open a similar business in Montreal. iFloat Baby Spa opened in late October.

The spa offers floatation and massage therapy for babies. There are six small pools for babies aged 8 months and younger, and a bigger one for babies 8 to 18 months. The floatation device goes around the baby’s neck, and then they go in the tub, which has a bubble-making machine. Depending on the baby’s age, they stay in for 15 minutes or longer.

Zhao says they order the floatation devices from China and use the same brand as established spas in that country. The floats have been tested for safety in China, she says. And each device has two layers of floats, so that in case one layer springs a leak, the baby will remain afloat.

Parents must be present and be watching their child at all times but they can’t join their child inside the tubs – they’re so shallow, the baby can touch the bottom. Staff at the spa also supervise and watch the babies.

The Canadian Paediatric Society doesn’t have guidelines pertaining to this specific kind of business, but does provide tips on water safety for children, such as:

• Babies who cannot sit without support and are too young to wear a portable flotation device should be held by an adult at all times.

• Toddlers should always be within arm’s reach of an adult when they are in or around water.

• The Lifesaving Society recommends a supervision ratio of 1 adult for every baby.

The spa water is filtered by ozonation, a process where the water is cleaned using ozone, a molecule made of oxygen. The tubs are cleaned using 100 per cent organic products, Zhao says. Each visit costs $60, lasts around an hour and includes a flotation and massage therapy session as well as unlimited access to an indoor playground.

iFloat Baby Spa is at 4296 Cote de Liesse, Town of Mount Royal.

For more information, call 514-738-0888 or visit ifloatbabyspa.com.

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