Choosing Swimwear, Equipment, and Accessories: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents

At Steve Wallen Swim School, we strive to make every lesson moment count. For that reason, we have designed our comprehensive curriculum to meet the needs of all learners. We also keep our class sizes small (only three students max with each of our highly trained instructors), with the option to engage in a semi-private swim lesson or private swim lessons as well! Teaching infants, children, and adults of all abilities how to swim are what we do, and we are incredibly proud of our family-owned, state-of-the-art swimming facilities in both El Dorado Hills and Roseville!

Each moment of your child’s lesson has been carefully planned in order to optimize their learning. For this reason, we know that there are several things that you can do as a parent or caregiver that will optimize their success in the water! While we know that life can get busy, try to be a little early for each lesson; children that are not hurried for their lesson have an easier time settling in for learning. A well-fed, well-hydrated child is also ready to learn and play! Of course, equipment matters too!

Does Your Child Need More Than a Swimsuit to Be Successful in the Water?

A well-fitting swimsuit is vital; one that will not require repeated adjustments during their lesson time is a must. A large, fluffy towel and a water bottle are the perfect end to lesson time and a warm welcome that your child will love. Other equipment, such as swimming goggles, water shoes, nose plugs, and earplugs, pose some issues that require extra attention.

At first, goggles might not be the greatest option

Ask most swim instructors, and they will tell you that they would much rather their students learn to swim without the use of goggles. Sure, goggles are an asset for lap swimming and ocean swims. However, until your child is ready to swim as a fitness activity, it’s best to avoid goggles for a few reasons. First, of course, if your child’s doctor has recommended that they use goggles when in the pool, that advice should be followed. Choose a quality, well-fitting goggle; position these well before the lesson begins, and encourage your child to leave them alone until the lesson is over.

Goggles are not typically encouraged for lessons because we want your child to be a strong, competent, and above all, safe swimmer. Consider this: it is essential to remember that there is no time to find and put on goggles during many aquatic emergencies, such as an unexpected fall into the water or the capsizing of a boat. So, we know that if your child learns to be a competent swimmer without relying on goggles, they can confidently transfer this skill to other aquatic environments.

Simply put, a child that can swim well without goggles is ready for the water all the time! In addition, knowing how to swim without relying on goggles means that your child has the confidence they need to swim at a moment’s notice. This reasoning applies to nose plugs, too; learning to breathe and blow bubbles out of both the nose and mouth is taught early to build success!

Water shoes to prevent accidents out of the water

Water shoes are a fantastic way to avoid slips and fall on slippery wet surfaces. However, they fill with water and create an enormous drag, hampering a child’s swimming ability. So, for this reason, we encourage children to wear them from the change room to the pool deck and then leave them at the water’s edge while they learn. Water shoes are typically not necessary, though, and they are not required at Steve Wallen Swim School unless you have specific concerns. One less thing to worry about as you come for your lessons!

Earplugs are a great way to keep your child from an ear infection

Earplugs are often needed for children with inner ear issues, so if your doctor has recommended them for your child, of course, we will do everything we can to ensure they stay safely within your little one’s ears while in our care. Be sure to purchase earplugs that fit well; they shouldn’t just pop out at any time. While they are available for purchase, it’s easy to make a neoprene or fabric headband; a great way to keep earplugs in without hampering your child’s swimming! Plus, choosing the fabric to appeal to your child’s interests may ensure their commitment to wearing the headband! A swim cap is another great way to keep ear plugs in your ears! As always, if you have any questions or concerns about equipment or lessons, please reach out to our staff; we are here for you!

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