I was listening to the radio this morning and heard an interview with someone who was instructing some children on safety in the pool. At first I thought it was the usual stuff about pool safety, but it turned out to be much more interesting. The children we fully dressed and being asked to do various things like try swimming and then to try getting out of the pool by clambering up slippery slabs of foam. The safety feature here was to simulate falling into a lake covered in ice. It was a great exercise in teaching the children what might happen and what techniques work and which ones don't.
Throughout the program, the instructor kept referring to "life jackets". The term "PFD" was never used and I thought that was odd. Then it hit me. "Life jackets" can save your "life". To a child, a "PFD" isn't anything meaningful, because there is no meaningful content in the three letters. Even knowing that the letters stand for "Personal Flotation Device" doesn't convey a lot of meaning to a child and probably to many adults.
So I won't be wearing my "PFD" from now on. I'm switching to my "life jacket"! Maybe we all ought to!