Summer is finally here. We're already dreaming of coastal towns, umbrella drinks and lounging poolside - all that's missing is the perfect swimsuit. The options are endless, from sporty one pieces to flirty bikinis, we're here to help you navigate all the choices to make the right buying decision for your child.
RIGHT FIT: One of the most important factors in selecting the right swimsuit is finding the perfect fit. Swimsuits usually need to fit a little more snug but not so tight that it causes irritation or chafing. The leg holes and waistbands should not be binding, but should not be so loose that it falls down and interferes with the child's swimming. Generally, it's recommended to purchase one size up for swimwear. Take your child's measurements and always refer to the manufacturer's size chart prior to purchasing the suit. If shopping online, reading customer reviews will also definitely help.
STYLE: Always find a suit that best complements your child's personality - whether she's more athletic, or girly, choosing a style that she feels most comfortable and confident in will change her experience at the pool or the beach. A few other things to consider is the function of the swimsuit and your daughter's size and frame. Professional swimmers or training kids should look for one piece styles. Design details like the width of the straps can also affect the child's swimming or performance. Thicker straps provide extra coverage and a more secure fit which is great for younger swimmers or children with smaller frames. Thinner straps allow for more movement and free range of motion.
FABRIC: The material of your swimsuit will also affect how well it will last against chlorinated pools and hot summer days. Pick a swimsuit based on the activities your child will be doing. Lycra or Spandex suits is the best for quick drying swimwear and is the ultimate in comfort and stretch. Spandex swimsuits moves with the wearer, but wears out quickly. Polyester or PBT blend suits last much longer than spandex, keeping its shape and color, which is ideal for professional swimmers. Poly suits are however less stretchy, more expensive and not as commonly available. Nylon swimsuits are the most common, strong and fitting, but do not last long in chlorine or sun. Its elasticity will thin and fade over time. Neoprene suits are also available and best for younger kids, as it protects the skin and keeps the child warm in the cool water.
SUN PROTECTION: With skin cancer on the rise, and more frequently occuring in younger children, sun protection is an absolute must. Look for a brand of swimwear that offers UPF sun protection. Certain swimsuit fabrics will minimize the amount of UV rays that penetrate the clothing to protect the more sensitive skin of younger swimmers. There are also a variety of options with short sleeves and longer sleeves rashguards and swimsuits.
SWIM CARE: Once you've found the perfect suit, you'll want to make sure it lasts. Always rinse swimsuits immediately after use in nonchlorinated water. When cleaning swimwear, hand wash in cold water with speciality or mild soap. Machines can ruin the fibers in the swimwear and the special soap can help remove the chlorine and bromine from the suits to help prolong the wear. Lie the suit flat to dry and out of the sun so that the colors are not faded. Another thing to keep in mind is to rotate swimsuits - spandex suits usually take a day to snap back to its original shape, so you should let it dry completely before using it again.
With these factors in mind, shopping for the perfect swimsuit should be an easier feat. So, cheers to warmer weather, long days in the ocean, playing in the sand and looking cute doing it!