Spring is officially here, so it’s a good time to talk about shopping for swim suits for your little swimmers to wear for swim lessons. There are a few “best practices” that help in making good choices.
Buy a suit that fits.
Face it that your children will only get one season out of each suit you purchase, so don’t buy anything big enough for them to “grow into.” In fact, a tight fitting suit is the best choice. Anything with Lycra in it will stretch with wear – and swim suits definitely have Lycra! A good rule of thumb: You should only be able to fit two fingers in the top of the straps. Tight fitting suits also last longer because being pulled tight strengthens the Lycra from chlorine breakdown caused by pool water. Your suits will also last longer if you do not wash them in your washing machine because doing so will break down the suit much faster and waste your money.
For young girls, one-piece suits are more sensible since they will stay in place better for swim lessons and water play. A snug one-piece suit doesn’t hinder movements or performance in any way. Pay attention to straps if the suit has them. They can be a distraction if they are constantly slipping off the shoulders.
For young boys, it is important to buy swim trunks that will not be a burden. Netting or pockets can become heavy with water, weight down the swimmer and hinder movement and performance.
Some children need an extra layer.
What about those swim shirts that are sold with many swim suits these days? Even though the water is a tropical 90 degrees at Little Otter, we still have children that will get chilled in our pool and need to wear a swim shirt. Choose a swim shirt or rash guard that fits tight. It can be distracting and hard for the teacher if the shirt is loose. The swim shirts are great if you are swimming outside. It allows you to use sunscreen only on the exposed skin so there is less chance you will forget to reapply and have a child get a sun burn. If a child still gets too cold with a swim shirt, wetsuits can help. The important thing is to help the child be as comfortable as they can because being comfortable helps them to be ready to learn.
Pay attention to quality.
Paying a little more for a quality brand makes sense when your children will be spending lots of time in their suits. Some brands feature fabrics that are touted as longer lasting than others and are offered in styles that are good choices for children such as racerback or traditional shoulder strap one-piece suits for girls and swim briefs, trunks, and swim jammers for young boys. Sleek styles are also available for babies. (Remember, when you’re choosing a suit for a child under the age of three, that many swim schools – including Little Otter – require all children under the age of three to wear a reusable swim diaper. Also note that all suite will last longer if you give them a good rinse in fresh water after each trip to the pool.
Whatever you do, make sure that your kids have suits that are comfortable. After all, they will pay little attention to their lesson if they are fidgeting with their swim suits!