Dress for Swim Success
Anyone who shops at Target can tell you that there are easily 341 different options when it comes to choosing swimwear for kids. One- and two-piece options are out there for both boys and girls, so what’s the best thing to put on your little fishies when it comes to swimming lessons? Let’s go from the bottom up.
At LPB, all children under 3 years old (whether they’re potty trained or not) are required to wear a reusable swim diaper. There are myriad options when it comes to styles, but the one “must-have” is a snug fit around the legs and waist. Swim diapers aren’t going to prevent pee from getting into the pool, but if they fit properly, they’ll contain an “accidental fecal release” which we lovingly refer to as an AFR. If your 3-year-old is still prone to potty accidents, you can keep using that swim diaper for peace of mind.
For kids who prefer to swim in shorts, they’re better off wearing ones that are shorter and/or snug around the legs, rather than loose board-short styles. Board shorts are great for the beach, but do create a fair amount of drag during swimming lessons. For a small kid, that can make a big difference when it comes to propelling themselves through the water.
Another great piece of swimwear to save for the beach (or outdoor pools) is the swim shirt or rash guard. You may see some of our teachers wearing these, but it’s because they’re in the water for longer stretches of time. For your student’s 30-minute lesson, a swim shirt is not only unnecessary, like the board shorts, it can also make swimming more challenging. Swim shirts can very quickly go from snug-fitting to super stretched out, again creating drag and stopping the hands and arms from doing what they need to do.
The preferred style of one-piece suit is a racer-back. These suits are proven to stay put and allow for full movement of arms and legs. We want all of our students to be able to swim without worrying about losing parts of their suit. Bikinis, typically, are not secure enough to stay put, however we have seen two-piece “tankini” style suits that provide better coverage and are less likely to shift during jumps, dives and other high-propulsion swims.
We don’t require swim caps, but we do recommend them (silicone is way easier to deal with than latex) for any swimmer who has long hair. Caps keep hair out of eyes, noses and mouths. If your swimmer has longer hair but does not want to use a cap, a ponytail, bun/top-knot, or even a little front ponytail to keep bangs under control can help a lot.