Updated: Sep 27
From late September it's the time to have thermal wear on hand for your child and maybe even for yourself!
Although the water is heated to 28C during winter months at the public pools in Hong Kong - from November to Easter - I recommend that all my young students in the Kids and Baby & Toddler programme be in thermal wear from October until it gets obviously too warm. Whilst it's safe to swim in cooler weather, you may find that your child can tolerate much less time in the water than in summer months.
If we see that our students are too cold to concentrate, we send them out. It's not a waste of the lesson - they will have picked up as much as they could have without any negative connotations. Our philosophy is that it's more important to have a happy memory of each swimming lesson than to stay the duration of the lesson but be miserable trying to stay warm.
Children that are concentrating on keeping warm are not able to concentrate on learning how to swim!
Please note there is a difference between a wetsuit and a rash guard. The former is of neoprene and acts to retain heat by trapping a layer of water between the skin and the suit.
The latter is for sun protection and cools the body down as moisture remains stuck between the skin and material.
Water thermals are made out of neoprene and designed to keep your child warmer in the water. The thicker the material, the warmer it will be - go for 2.5 or 3mm. Thermals need to fit snuggly in order to be effective. A loose fitting wetsuit will not keep your child warm.
Buy them from:
Escapade Sports (Repulse Bay has a better selection)
GigaSports (Pacific Place)
Decathlon (Causeway Bay)
Wing On (Sheung Wan)
In addition I have found the following sold online:
Please comment if you know of any other places that sell wetsuits!
Some other things!
If your child is turning blue or shivering uncontrollably, please take them out immediately and put them in a warm shower.
Please only take off your child's thermal wear when they are in a warm shower. Taking it off poolside will just cause them to become more cold!