Boy and girl holding hands and running on the beach

Style might be less of a concern, but buying the right swimsuit for your child still takes some thought.

Comfort is a concern for kids of all ages. For babies and toddlers, you can get special swimming diapers to help them stay comfortable in the water and make it easier for you to clean up any accidents. For school-age kids there’s a wide range of fashionable, affordable outfits.

For boys, there are board shorts, swim trunks and swim shorts. For girls, consider bikinis, tankinis, one-piece suits or board shorts with bikini tops. And if your kids will be swimming outdoors, be sure to look for fabrics that help to block harmful UV rays.

Types of Kids’ Swimwear

Types of Kids’ Swimwear

The boys of summer have most of the same swimwear options as their dads. Board shorts, swim trunks and swim shorts are all good choices for boys. Board shorts are especially popular because of their youthful fit, bright colours and patterns, and longer length for added sun protection. For slender boys, look for lace-up or drawstring closures to help keep their swim bottoms secure.

To protect your son’s upper body from excessive UV exposure, consider adding a UV rash guard top to his swim wardrobe. Rash guards are available with both long and short sleeves, and can also be purchased as full-body swim suits.

Little boy in full body swimwear crouching by poolside

Girls’ swimwear options include a variety of one- and two-piece styles. Bikinis, tankinis, classic one-piece suits and board shorts with bikini tops or rash guards are all popular. To protect the delicate skin of younger girls from the sun, a one-piece suit or rash guard with bikini bottoms will provide additional coverage. For older girls, the many bright colours and pattern choices of mix-and-match bikini separates can add style and flare.

Girls who enjoy the comfort of a two-piece but prefer a little more coverage can opt for a tankini. This popular style features a tank-style top paired with a bikini bottom. The result is a swimwear outfit that conceals the midsection while still allowing for the easy dressing and undressing of a bikini.

Little girl in brightly coloured swimsuit sitting on pool's edge

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Babies and toddlers have particularly delicate skin that can burn easily when exposed to the sun. To shield them from harmful UV rays, consider protective outfits like hooded towels or rash guard tops and suits. Children grow quickly, so it’s tempting to buy slightly oversized outfits. But when purchasing rash guards, it’s important to get the true size as larger ones will gape and balloon in the water.

Adding swimming diapers for babies and non-potty-trained toddlers is a great way to keep your little swimmers comfortable. Regular diapers will expand and break down in the water. Swimming diapers will not swell and can be removed easily for changing.

You may also want to consider floating swimsuits for babies and toddlers, which contain built-in buoyancy panels to help children float.

Toddler girl in teal swimsuit sitting on towel at the beach

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Types of kids’ swimwear material

  • Colourful swimwear diaper on beach sand with red starfish beside itNylon, polyester and lycra-blends are popular kids’ swimwear materials because they’re affordable and also retain their shape and elasticity.
  • Neoprene suits are a good warmth-retaining option for children who are easily chilled in water.
  • When it comes to swim diapers, both disposable and reusable types are available. These diapers are specially designed so they won’t swell in water and weigh down your baby or toddler.
    Swim diapers will also help keep accidents in place until you have
    an opportunity for a diaper change.

Close up of water repellent properties of nylon used in swimwearSwimwear for babies, toddlers, girls and boys needs to do more than look good and feel good; it must also provide sun protection.

Rash guard tops shield the chest, stomach, shoulders and back from harmful UV rays. Rash guard suits also protect the legs. This type of swimwear is made from quick-drying, lightweight materials that won’t sag or retain water like regular t-shirt or pant materials.

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