Can you even imagine a summertime childhood memory that doesn’t include a pool, water balloons, squirt guns, or a sprinkler? Splashing around in the summer sun is a favorite childhood pastime, so you want to make sure your kids have at least one bathing suit to let them enjoy it.
But kids can be tough on their clothes, and the sun and chlorine are also enemies of swimwear, so you might find yourself wondering just how many bathing suits your kids need to last them through the next summer or two. The answer depends on a few factors. Read on for our tips on making sure your kids have just what they need to have fun in the sun this summer without breaking the bank.
It’s only natural for parents to hope that a swimsuit will last a couple of summers before their kids grow out of it. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. If your child wore a swimsuit extensively one summer, chances are it could be a little stretched out the next summer, which could be a good thing if your kiddo grew a bit. But the more a swimsuit stretches out, the more see-through it becomes, and you certainly don’t want that. Plus, it loses any sun protection it had and probably lost its vibrant colors as well.
Swimwear should be comfortable and stay in place. A swimsuit that’s too big when worn dry will certainly expand and become looser in the water, which could be quite embarrassing. Conversely, a swimsuit that’s too tight could cause rashes or chafing. Big kids will be able to tell you when it’s uncomfortable, but little ones may not know any better, leaving you to discover redness and an unhappy little one when you take off that little toddler swimsuit at the end of the day. Making sure it fits well is the most important factor to consider.
Obviously, it won’t last more than a few years for a growing child, but a swimsuit should last as long as possible. And the best way to ensure that is to purchase your boys’ or girls’ swimsuits from a brand that knows swimwear (and kids) best. For boys, look for a pair of swim trunks that fits securely with an elastic waistband and drawstring that allows room for growth.
For girls, the swimsuit should be fully lined and easy to put on. Fuss-free features are great as well. No matter how cute the straps and ruffles are on swimsuits, they can get caught on things and aren’t always comfortable for an active child to wear. Look for tugless features as well to ensure the bottoms stay in place. And whether for a girl or boy, quick-drying swimsuits and those with UPF protection are also factors to look for in a high-quality swimsuit.
As much as we want our kids to get off their electronics and splash around in the summer sun, it’s a Catch-22 when you consider the dangers of long-term sun exposure. Especially considering how fragile a child’s skin is, it is important to keep sun protection in mind all summer long. But with the benefits of playing outdoors so important in a child’s life, there are ways to be safe in the sun without having to worry about reapplying sunscreen on an active child all day long.
If your children’s swimwear offers UPF 50 sun protection, that’s one important way to ensure they’re safe in the sun, as it blocks 98% of harmful UV rays. But since a swimsuit doesn’t cover their entire body, rash guards are amazing swim pieces to keep on hand. They’re essentially a lightweight, super fast-drying T-shirt that your children wear over their swimsuit or as a top. A Lands’ End kids’ or toddler rash guard can offer UPF 50 fabric while also being chlorine-resistant, quick-drying, and super fashionable on kids.
If you have rash guards on hand for your kids, you can ensure they can go from the pool to the snack bar with ease. But sometimes girls prefer more options. In the absence of a rash guard, a girls’ cover-up will allow her to hang out during swim breaks without having to change into other clothes. Like mom, she may prefer a kaftan cover-up or a swim dress cover-up. Let her have fun picking something out that she can easily throw on over her swimsuit on the way to the pool or during swim breaks.
With kids coming in and out of the house, changing their minds about what they want to do during the day, you will probably want to have one other swimsuit ready for them to change into while the other one is still drying. After all, anyone who’s tried to squeeze into a wet swimsuit knows how frustrating this can be. Have fun experimenting with styles too. A tween, for example, may think she only likes girls’ one-piece swimsuits and may be too timid about trying something new. But a tankini with boy shorts might be more her style. Sometimes mom knows best. Having a spare swimsuit in a style that they wouldn’t normally choose for themselves might be a fun way to encourage them to try new things when they’re in a bind (or their favorite swimsuit is still too wet to wear).
In short, having two bathing suits per child will keep your kids happy all summer long — as long as the suits are well-made, offer UPF 50 sun protection, and have some fun!