Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kids Wetsuits: 6 Things You Should Know - Expert Advice




Why should you pay any attention to what I tell you here, over any of the other articles that are written about his subject?

Because I have been a swim teacher for over 20 years and have taught in more pools than I can remember. My knowledge is based on real world experience. This is not an article that has been commissioned to be written by someone who is just going on the information they have seen on the internet. I am someone with real practical and personal experience.

That being said it is clear that as a swim teacher this article is going to be about Kids wetsuits as they relate to swimming.If you need information about diving and wetsuits you need to look elsewhere, as I know little to nothing about that.

Every parent has different priorities when it comes to Kids wetsuits. So the order of these 6 things will change a bit form family to family. But whatever order you put them in, these are, by far and away the main things that all parent will want to consider. Everything else is ascetics and as long as you have the basics correct, you can have no concerns about being as flamboyance or conservative as you like.

Here are my six things you should know about Kids wetsuits:

1.Warmth

This is obviously the main reason any parent or carer will be want something for their child to ware in the water. The beach water temperature is variable according to the time of year; even in tropical areas and most pools; even teaching ones, are well below body temperature.

Basically the more you spend the warmer they get. This is because of the material they are made of. You have to check with the manufactures rating to determine the actual warmth. But before you go for the warmest rating, make sure you know where you are going to have it worn.

If for example, you are only going to have your child wear their wetsuit in a teaching pool and that pool is heated to say 32deg C (approx 89deg F)or above; as lots of teaching pools are, you are not going to want the warmest rating. That would not make for pleasant lessons as you child will be too hot and will enjoy the lesson less. Evey experienced carer knows that an uncomfortable child is probably going to make it known.

Other factors to consider are how much the child will be moving around. Sometimes the warmest is not always the best.

2.Thickness

Most people immediately think that the thicker the material the warmer it is. Whilst this is mostly true, there are a quite a few wetsuits that are manufactured to minimize the thickness without compromising the warmth.

The biggest consideration with thickness is the freedom of movement. I've had babies in my classes wearing ones that are so thick the baby looks like a starfish for the whole lesson. This is not what you want. Particularly of your child is older. There is enough to learn in a swimming lesson without having to cope with restricted movement. More importantly, it's no fun playing when you can't move properly.

As with Warmth, Sometimes you need to sacrifice thickness for movement.

3.Floatation

Increased thickness means increased floatation. Which is fine if your child is just starting lessons; as long as they can move freely. But after a few swimming lessons too much extra floatation starts to interfere with what you want a child to learn.

It is exactly the same if you are just looking for something that your child can play in. Extra floatation may seem like it will help keep your child safe but if they can't move enough to get to safety, that little bit extra is more of a hazard.

Don't forget salt water increases floatation

Basically, if your child has difficulty going under water the floatation is too much.

4.Chlorine resistance

If you are only taking your child to the beach then as long as you wash your suits in clean fresh water afterward and let them dry, this bit of information is completely irrelevant to you. But if you want your suit to survive pool water then you are going to want something that will resist the bleaching effect of the chlorine. If you don't your prettiest colors and designs will fade relatively quickly

The problem is, as of the writing to his article there are none that are viable. The only ones that I have ever come across that got close were inflexible, uncomfortable and the stitching broke.

I'm sorry you may just have to accept that your colors and designs will fade.

More than that over time the chlorine will destroy the wetsuit. You can try putting it though the washing machine without soap. I'm told that helps. But I've never been game.

Beside most children have grown out of the things before it become a problem. So even if you find one that is chlorine resistant, I'm not sure it is worth the expense and they will be expensive.

5.Fitablity

This from my point of view is probably the most important thing you should know about kids wetsuits and maybe I should have put it at the top. What I mean by Fitablity is basically how easy it is to get on and off. Particularly off after the lesson, when the child is all wet. More importantly if children can't go to the toilet easily you are in big trouble.

This is even more significant on babies. You have to be able to get to that Nappy(diaper).

You absolutely must buy something that has easy access openings. If you don't you will regret it. Things like opening panels for babies and Velcro shoulder straps for children are a must.

6.Comfort

What can I say, as with warmth and thickness, if your child is not comfortable they are going to let you know about it. Uncomfortable children are hard to teach.

7.Length

Something that is too long will interfere with everything. Play, lessons, comfort are all sacrificed if your buy something that is too long. Buy a the right size or if you have to a little too short. But never too tight. Extra skin is never a problem. Extra squished body parts are a big problem.

6.UV Rating

It's simple wetsuits don't have one. Well I've never come across one. Why? Because to do so with wetsuits is just silly. Any part of your body that is covered by a wet suit is 100% UV protected. You can only get burned in the areas that are not covered.

Unless you leave it hanging in HOT sun; with no shade at all; all day every day; for weeks on end, the affect of UV on the material itself is so minimal as to be almost completely irrelevant. Look after the suits and use UV rated sun lotion on those parts of you and your child that are not covered by it. That's all you have to know.

Conclusion

Basically you have to decide what you want form you child's new wetsuit.

To my way of thinking, unless you are going swimming somewhere that requires specialty stuff, you only need something that adds a little bit of extra warmth. Fit and comfort is more important than thickness.

As for cost, there is no doubt that the more expensive child's wetsuit will allow you to have something thinner. But the biggest issue with the most expensive ones, is that they don't make them for kids and if they do, children grow out of them quickly.

Personally I'd buy something that is in the mid range, is comfortable, fits well. Something that is easy to put on especially if it for a baby.

Enjoy
Richard

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