Top Products for Summer Safety with Water Babies

Ensuring your little one's safety in the water is our top priority at Water Babies. Water safety skills are at the heart of all that we do and form a key part of every Water Babies swimming lesson.

With the summer holidays fast approaching, we want to share some tips on how to build a summer wardrobe with your little one's safety in mind, including baby swimwear, UV protective clothing for toddlers, swimming accessories, swimming aids, and toys to keep practising water safety skills outside of lessons.

To help keep your little one safe during the summer break, we offer a range of products which have been thoroughly tested to give you peace of mind while your child gains water confidence. Our products are backed by rigorous research and meticulous quality standards so that you and your little one can enjoy the water (and sun!) safely. 

Whether you're setting up a paddling pool in your garden, planning a family day out at the beach, or a fun trip to the swimming pool, Water Babies has you covered. Ready to dive into our top products for summer safety? Keep reading to ensure a fun and worry-free summer, and learn more about baby and toddler summer essentials!

1. Baby Wetsuits: Keeping your little warm in the water 

One of the most important baby summer safety tips is to always be aware of the type of pool that your little one is swimming in, and to check that the temperature of the pool is at least 32° for newborns and babies under 12 weeks or 12 pounds, and 30° for older babies.

Remember that outdoor pools and open water can be extremely cold, even on a hot day. Babies are more susceptible to temperature changes, so thermal layers and wetsuits for infants can play a vital role in their temperature regulation, helping keep babies and toddlers warm in the water for longer.

But children's wetsuits offer multiple benefits apart from temperature regulation and comfort; they contribute to hygiene and safety, protecting sensitive young skin and helping to keep lotions and barrier creams in place, while offering UV protection.

Concerned about potty protection? Fear not! There are also baby wetsuits which include a built-in reusable swim nappy, such as the Happy Nappy Wetsuit, saving you the hassle of needing multiple products (and also some money in the long run!).

Baby Wetsuit Tip: Always put the wetsuit on before your little one gets cold. After the swim, promptly remove the wetsuit and dry your baby thoroughly. Pay attention to the folds and creases where water might be trapped. Keeping your baby dry after their swimming session is as important for their comfort as keeping them warm in the water. 

If you'd like to learn more about baby wetsuits, like why baby wetsuits are important, how they work or what baby wetsuits are made from, we recommend giving our blog on baby wetsuits a read. 👀

2. Water Shoes: Protecting your little one's feet in and around the water

Another essential summer safety tip for families is to take in the wider surroundings. Check if there's a lifeguard on duty, whether there are any slippery surfaces, where the deep end of the pool is and if there are any cracked tiles at the pool, or sharp rocks and shells at the beach; as these are all factors to consider when ensuring water safety.

A good pair of water or beach shoes can make all the difference to help protect your little one's feet on the beach, by the pool, paddling in the river or rock pooling; while allowing your child to move freely, in and out of the water. 

Why are water shoes important?

Water shoes can protect little feet from harsh elements such as hot sand, sharp objects, rough or slippery surfaces, weever fish stings, or skin infections.

There are a lot of options for swim shoes for kids out there, but to make it easier, these are some of the main factors to consider when choosing a pair of beach shoes for your child:

  1. Materials: A rubber sole with a breathable upper is the best combination. Manufactured using light, flexible, quick-drying and breathable fabric, Slipfree® shoes are the next best thing to bare feet but with the added protection of a firm grip thanks to their high-tech sole. Plus these water shoes are rated UPF 50+ for sun protection too.
  2. Fit: When choosing your little one's water shoes, it's important to go for a snug fit to ensure the show will stay in place while swimming or running around, while being comfortable. Sizing for beach shoes normally matches regular shoes, but always double check. Slipfree® swim shoes come in a elasticated fit which means means no sand or sharp objects can get in to harm your little one, while allowing children to put them on and take them off themselves thanks to its pull-on style.
  3. Intended Use: Consider the adventures ahead to select the best pair of water shoes for your little one's summer activities. The best beach shoes are those that seamlessly transition between different activities, making them multi-functional and versatile. Look for features like durability, comfort, quick-drying materials, breathability, lightweight design, secure fit, sturdy non-slip soles or easy on and off. Slipfree® shoes tick all these boxes, plus they come in a close-toed style, which makes them great for swimming too!
  4. Design: When it comes to selecting the perfect water shoes for your little ones, design isn't just about aesthetics, it's about ensuring your child feels excited and comfortable wearing them, so pick a colour, theme or print they'll love. 

3. UV protective clothing and accessories: Shielding your little one against the sun

Protecting your little one from the sun’s harmful rays is essential during those sunny summer days. Apart from baby and toddler wetsuits, which will provide both extra warmth and protection from the sun while your little one is splashing about outside, there are lots of great things you can kit your child out in to keep them protected from the sun. Our range of UV protective clothing and accessories ensures your baby or toddler can enjoy outdoor fun safely and comfortably.

Swimwear Colours Tip: As well as kitting your little one in the right clothing this summer, it's important to think about the colour of their swimwear. Adult supervision is crucial to keeping little ones safe in, on and around the water. Similarly to being in a big crowd, brightly coloured swimwear and UV protective clothing will help you to spot your little one.The colour of the swimwear makes a huge difference as to whether they can be seen even on the surface of the water, let alone if they're older children and swimming underwater.

Here’s a brief overview of some infant summer must-have items for your little one's safety and comfort in the sun:

3.1 UV Protection: Rash Tops

Lightweight and cool, rash tops offer UPF50+ sun protection and dry quickly so can be worn comfortably all day. Rash tops shield little one's sensitive skin from harmful sun rays and reduce the risk of sunburn, allowing them to enjoy outdoor activities safely.

3.2 UV Protection: Happy Nappy Sunsuits

Lifestyle image of child wearing a Happy Nappy Sunsuit in navy blue and sky themed print, including airplanes, kites, clouds and hot air balloons. Front.

The Happy Nappy Sunsuit combines the benefits of a UPF50+ rash top with a built-in reusable swim nappy. This all-in-one solution is both practical and comfortable; it provides protection from UV rays, while the integrated Happy Nappy ensures no leaks, making it ideal for outdoors swimming and water play. 👌

3.3 UV Protection: Sun Hats

Protecting your child’s head, neck and face from the sun is just as important as covering their body. Our sun hats for toddlers come in two functional styles:

Floppy Sun Hat: This hat features a wide brim that provides excellent shade for your child’s face, neck, and ears, all while looking super cute! Made from breathable, blended cotton, it ensures comfort and protection during sunny outings. The adjustable chin strap keeps the hat securely in place, even on windy days.

Legionnaire Hat: With an extended flap at the back, a legionnaire hat offers added protection for your little one's neck and ears. Made from soft, stretchy Nylon Lycra, which blocks out harmful UV rays, while the lightweight and breathable material keeps your little one cool and comfortable. Legionnaire hats are perfect for active play and long days in the sun. 

4. A word on swim vests, flotation devices and inflatables: Always keep a watchful eye on your children 

At Water Babies, we know that flotation devices and buoyancy aids can make water play more enjoyable and build confidence for babies and children. However, it's important to remember that these aids are not life preservers. Always keep a watchful eye on your little one, as currents and tides can cause floats to drift or tip over. Inflatables are another fun option, but they can easily be blown out to sea. When using inflatables, ensure your child is wearing the appropriate buoyancy aids and is always supervised.

While lifeguards provide an extra layer of safety, never rely solely on them. Always designate a responsible adult to monitor children in and around the water, keep non-swimmers within arm's reach and, if you're at the beach, always swim between designated flags and be aware of rip currents and tides, especially if you're in a foreign country where signage may differ.

With that in mind, let's explore our range of baby floats, swim vests, and buoyancy aids for toddlers, designed to support your little one's water adventures!

4.1 Float Jackets & Swim Vests

Lifestyle image of child wearing neoprene swim vest for toddlers with non-removable floats in white, pink trims and forest themed print, including hedgehogs, mushrooms and leaves. Front.

Float jackets and swim vests are the preferred option worldwide for helping toddlers and children to enjoy the water as they learn to swim. Perfectly balanced to hold your little one in the "correct-learn-to-swim position", they provide peace of mind while promoting water confidence. Made from soft neoprene, we have two different options available: our 8-piece adjustable Float Jackets and also Swim Vests with non-removable floats.

4.2 Pool Noodles

Pool noodles provide excellent buoyancy support, helping your little one stay afloat as they build confidence in the water. We make our pool noodles shorter, wider and use denser foam than usual too, so they're much easier for your your little one to use. And they're more buoyant for you! But pool noodles aren't just for floating. From practicing kicks to improving arm strokes, these swim noodles offer endless possibilities to keep improving little ones' swimming skills and building their water confidence in a fun and engaging way.

4.3 Float boards for babies and toddlers

Easy for little hands to hold on to, and made from high density foam, our Finn Float Board is an ideal swimming aid for early swim practice, helping your little one gain water confidence and develop essential water skills from an early age. Swim floats encourage little ones to kick and splash in the pool, helping them to improve your little one's balance and coordination, serving as a gentle introduction to swimming techniques while they become familiar with the basic motions used in swimming strokes.

4.4 Shark Fins

Designed by SwimFin, these shark fins consist on a vertical swimming aid worn high on the back, above the centre of gravity, and expertly weighted to provide support when needed. It allows children to have a more natural swimming position in the water (chin resting just on top of the water while being fully supported in an upright position) as well as unrestricted movement of their arms and legs which helps children to feel more secure and safe in the water. SwimFin shark fins are a teaching aid, flotation device and fun water toy all in one! 

5. Our Top Tip: Start swimming lessons as early as possible

There are few things in life more important than teaching little ones how to swim. Fear of the water is a learnt behaviour, so it is important to get your little ones accustomed to the water at a young age, and show them how to respond to this environment in a safe way.

At Water Babies, we see babies swimming from birth and have had pupils as young as a day old in our classes, although the average starting age is between 3 to 4 months old. Our immersive Oceans of Imagination programme puts children at its heart to give a lifelong love of swimming and a skill for life.

As a crucial part of our swimming programme, we teach babies, toddlers, and the early years water safety skills which could one day help save a life. Follow Bubba the Whale and his friends, The Swimvincibles, on a journey to share their swimming skills and love of the water with babies and young children through fun adventures and play.

Hear from our strategic partner Alice Dearing on water safety by clicking on the video below.