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      It is difficult enough to find well-fitting, comfortable and stylish swim wear for yourself, but the whole process becomes even more complicated when you need to do the same for children. In this article we take a look at the main considerations when choosing swimwear for children.

      Child’s Swimwear Sizing

      Getting to grips with the sizing of children’s swimwear is the main hurdle when looking for well-fitting, comfortable swim wear for your child. Different swim wear brands opt for different sizing methods, so it’s important that you know a few key measurements beforehand. One of the most common sizing methods for children’s swim wear is in years. This means that swim wear is designed to fit the average 5 year old for example.

      However if your child is small or large for their age, a little caution needs to be taken when choosing the correct fitting. Another common sizing method which is a little more related to your child instead of an average is for the clothing to be given a size in height. For example 98cm means that that particular garment has been designed for a child of approximate 98cms in height. By knowing the approximate average age in years and the height of your child will give you a good idea of what size swimwear you need to buy.

      Fit and Cut of Children’s Swimwear
      As with adult swim wear, there are a wide range of fits and cuts of swim wear for children too. When looking at cuts for your child, consider what sort of activities they are likely to be doing in the water such as swimming, paddling, water sports or just playing on the beach. For those who enjoy water sports and swimming, swim wear with high legs will be most comfortable. For children who are going to be paddling or sitting on the sand, more coverage will work better. It’s also worth considering other features such as UV protection when looking for swim wear; this offers even more protection than simple sun screen application.

      Children’s Swim Wear Styles for Girls
      There are a wide range of styles of swim wear available which have been designed for girls. This includes full length playsuits which are often a much thinner version of a wetsuit featuring long arms or legs, ‘shortie’ swim suits are usually knee-length and have short sleeves whilst conventional swimming costumes have thin shoulder straps and brief style bottoms. There are also a variety of two piece swimming costumes – typically a bikini or a tankini which features a longer body section for more coverage. In order to choose the right style for your little girl, you need to consider coverage.

      Children’s Swim Wear Styles for Boys
      There are three main swim wear styles available for boys. The first are tight-fitting trunks which offer great efficiency for swimming and water sports, although they can be a little uncomfortable. A more comfortable alternative are conventional trunks which are looser fitting, but still end quite high up on the leg. The other alternative are board shorts which are inspired by surf culture and are usually reasonable baggy shorts which end around the knee. These offer better coverage, although they can hinder some water sports as they cause drag in the water. Also available for boys are playsuits and ‘shortie’ swim suits.

      So now you know how children’s swim wear is sized and what styles are available, it’s time to start find a beach or swimming pool and test out the new outfits.

      Jenna is a mum of two, who teaches swimming and co-owns a successful mail order swimwear company – http://www.mailsports.co.uk/