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Meet the humble swim diaper.  It’s got a dirty job to do, and it does it well.  All swimmers under 36 months must wear TWO health department approved swim diapers at Academy Swim Club.  If you’ve got a swimmer who is under three, or is perhaps older but not yet, shall we say, reliable, we’d like to get you guys together.  Below is a quick rundown of what a swim diaper is, why you need it, and where you can get it.

What is a Health Department Approved Swim Diaper? A fancy name for underpants with two layers of tightly woven fabric and heavy-duty elastic around the waist and legs.  This stylish, reusable garment has one purpose – to keep poop inside the diaper (making it eco-friendly in more ways than one.)  It should fit snugly, but not so much so that it cuts off circulation.  They are sized by weight and age.  You may want to buy a size up for the outer swim diaper.  Huggies Lil’ Swimmers or other disposable diapers won’t work.  The only thing they keep contained are baby bottoms, not what comes out of them.  Some parents do layer a Lil’ Swimmer under the approved swim diapers to keep clean up simple in the case of accidents.  Just remember that a disposable Lil’ Swimmer does not replace one of the required reusable swim diapers.

Why are two swim diapers required? Firstly, because the Health Department told us so, and we never say “no” to the Health Department.  They don’t have to buy us dinner first or anything.  Secondly, because a fecal incident (those are the actual words on the form we have to fill out after one occurs) creates an unbelievable mess.  Our pool is a pretty high tech affair, with pumps, jets, filters and all manner of diagnostic whatsits designed to circulate the water and ensure it is contaminant free.  You could probably launch a space shuttle from our equipment room.  However, all that circulation works against us once a little digestive waste hits the water and gets spread from end to end.  Then we have to shut down the pool for the remainder of the current lesson and all of the next one while we vacuum and scoop – and the reality of that is even more disgusting than it sounds.  That’s also a lot of parents who wasted their time driving to our facility for their child to only receive half a lesson or none at all.  Worst case scenario, we’re shut down for the rest of the day.  Double diapering doesn’t seem like much bother compared to all of that, right?

Where can I buy swim diapers? Academy Swim Club sells them at the front desk, but you can also find them during the warm months at Target, Walmart, Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, etc.  We don’t care where you buy them, as long as they meet the health department’s standards.  Some baby swimsuits come with built-in swim diapers that can function as one of the diapers, which is handy.

If you have any questions about swim diapers, give us a call, shoot us an email, or just stop by the front desk.  We are more than happy to help!