Parents often wonder about the best way to dress their children for sporting activities. What is the correct outfit for running, gymnastics, soccer and swimming? What do all of the other children wear? There are many different options for swimwear/accessories for swimming lessons. Here are our suggestions for dressing for swimming lessons.
Un-toilet Trained Swimmers Should Wear a Swim Nappy
When dressing for swimming lessons, swimmer nappies make life easier for parents attending lessons. They work just like a regular nappy and can be submerged under water. Regular nappies will fill with water and swell up. They also become heavy and will weigh a child down during lessons. Swim nappies contain urine and fecal matter until nappy is changed and will help the swim school with water filtration and cleanliness of the swimming area.
You can purchase single use nappies in the supermarket and throw away in the bin after each use. There are also some types of swimmer nappy that are reusable with a plastic lining and cloth outside. You can empty, wash out and reuse these reusable nappies after each swimming lesson.
Caps and Goggles
We recommend that you wear caps once hair is long enough to affect performance when it gets in the eyes, ears and nose whilst participating in lessons. Caps are made of materials such as latex/rubber to silicone to lycra.
Rubber/waterproof type swim caps are mostly worn by older swimmers and slide on over the child’s head. They usually come in a standard size and stretch to fit quite tight over the swimmers head. Hair is then tucked up inside the cap so it doesn’t drag down behind the swimmer in the lesson. They can pull longer hair as they are placed on the head if wearer is not well practised in putting them on. These caps are great for keeping hair or ears dry (when teamed with earplugs) and come in many different brands and colours.
Lycra/material swim caps are often easier to slide onto smaller heads as they tend to slide on more easily and not pull hair. These caps do not keep hair dry and are used to keep hair out of the eyes when swimming. They are quite easy to put on and don’t pull the hair as they go. As these caps are used more they tend to stretch and lose their elasticity a little so should be washed and hung out after the lesson to keep them in good condition.
Different Types of Goggles
Goggles should be worn only when a swimmer is confident to submerge, open their eyes under water and return to safety. Goggles can often give swimmers a false sense of security for viewing underwater. It’s important to remember that when children fall in the pool they may not be wearing their goggles so they should continuously practise a little bit of swimming without goggles in their lesson/play time.
There are many different types of goggles available for swimmers. WWSS recommends that parents buy a pair of goggles that are all one molded piece. In addition, make sure there are no small parts around the nose or sides that can snap and break. Otherwise, the parent or swim teacher will have to spend time fiddling around with them. You should be able to easily loosen/tighten the side pieces and the swimmer should be able to adjust them.
Caps and goggles for sale at your swim school are usually good quality and your swim school staff can usually adjust it to fit your child properly.
Swimwear – be practical when dressing for swimming lessons!
When dressing for swimming lessons, swimwear should be comfortable but try not to dress them in too much clothing. Board shorts are best for beach attire than swimming lessons as lots of material tends to get in the way and weigh swimmers down. 1 or 2 piece swimwear works well too. Underpants shaped or bike pant length swimmers work well for older swimmers. Be sun smart if participating in lessons in an outdoor pool but remember that the more material surrounding the swimmer the harder it is for their propulsive skills. Tighter swimwear works better for movement through the water.
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