What should my child wear in the water?
Here's some advice about what to wear to your aquatic physiotherapy sessions with us.
(Click on the pictures to link to online stores selling these products)
There are so many wonderful companies making "swim nappies" these days. The families I work with are always showing up with new designs. You can get sizes from babies through to adults, and even boardies with built in swim nappies. Examples of suppliers: Speedo, Splash About, Pop-In Swim Nappy, Kmart & Target seasonally, AussieBabies2kids, OwlBaby, HappyNappy, LittleTogs
We've got some examples here on the left. Click on the picture to link to the company's website.
Important things to consider:
The elastic MUST be snug and tight around the thighs AND around the WAIST
It's not nice to think about, but this means that if your little one does do a poo it will be contained in the bathers and we can get them quickly out of the water without contaminating it.
If a stool were to come out of the bathers, the water needs to be treated and this disrupts everyone else in the water. We can't have that!!
Disposable nappies are often just not snug enough around the thighs and waist
Obviously wee will go straight through the bathers into the pool. That's okay, that's what our excellent water quality systems are there for. Just be mindful when you're carrying your little one to and from the water- you might get a suprise!
Sometimes the cloth reusable swim nappies are just too big for some of our babies. In that case, the disposable swim nappies are the way to go. Bins are provided for their disposal after sessions. Please be sure that they are snug enough around the thighs and waist.
Please check them or get changed into them right before your session to ensure they havn't already been filled since you left home
If your child is defnitely toilet trained, then bathers are the way to go.
Please still be sure that they are snug enough around the thighs and waist. Even children who have been toilet trained for 6-12 months can have an occasional accident, even if it has never happened before!
Save your sun suits for the beach. Why?
Treated pool water deteriorates the material in sun suits. That means they will be less sun protective come beach time.
It's great for our physiotherapist to be able to see your child's body and muscles moving.
Our physiotherapists use handling and facilitation techniques to help your child learn to move. Children get more information from us when we can have our hands directly on their skin (eg. to fire up those belly muscles!)
We occasionally recomment use of these where sensory processing is an issue and handling on the skin is too much for some children. If you are concerned about this, please discuss with your physiotherapist.
Save them for cold swimming pools or the beach. Why?
Our pools are heated to skin temperature. They won't need wetsuits with us!
Wetsuits provide buoyancy. That disrupts the child from learning their natural buoyancy in the water and how to use it to their advantage.
If you need to use earplugs then these silicone ones are those we find to be best. You can use them just like playdough: get the size piece you need and mould it to shape. Also, they're a bit sticky which helps to keep them in place.
Some children will go to a lot of effort to pull their earplugs out. Some of the families we work with find neoprene headbands such as these helpful. Swimming caps are also great. If your child has grommets, please read this article.
One Australian company we know of who makes them is Little Grommets.
By all means wear swimming caps from any age.
Great for keeping hair out of eyes. Most swimwear brands sell them. Here's a cute one from Zoggs.
These clips are great for keeping hair out of your child's eyes if they're not keen on a swimming cap or headband.
Why are we fussed about that?
We want children to learn to come up for a breath and keep going. We don't want them wiping their face and eyes all the time. In a survival situation, we want them to have a breath and keep going until they are safe.
If they have been wiping hair out of their face every time they go under in a session, they're more likely to reach for their face and fuss about that uncomfortable sensation in a survival situation. And that's not ideal!
Clips like these can be purchased at most discount stores and chemists. Headbands and swimming caps work well too.
We usually start to use goggles in kinder or school age kids when they are spending most of their session underwater and are working on swimming. Cheapies are fine.
Even then, we have at least part of their underwater time without goggles every single session. If they accidentally fall into the water one day, we want them to get on with it and get themselves safe. We don't want them fussing about water in their eyes. So, regular practise keeps them confident in their abilities.
WHAT ABOUT ME?
If you're getting in with your child, wear whatever you feel comfortable with.
Bathers, rash vests, or clean shorts and t shirt are all fine options.
You won't need a wetsuit!