Swim Gear for Special Needs Children and Adults

Swimming Can Be Safe, Fun, and Secure for People With Special Needs

Girl with Down syndrome swimming in a pool

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When the weather gets warm, everyone loves to get wet. But water play can be a problem for kids with special needs. Ear tubes and hearing aids need to stay dry. Swim diapers can be hard to find for older kids. And children who can't swim due to physical disabilities or poor motor skills are at risk. Fortunately, there are products that can help keep special kids and adults in the swim.

The reality is that many of these products are more expensive than their counterparts for typical kids. In some cases, it may be possible to get help with the cost. Many items, though, will last quite a while.

Ear Tube Protection

Keep ear tubes dry and ears water-free with specialized plugs and a swim-cap-lite band.

  • Doc's Proplugs: For greater security, these over-the-ear devices must be properly fitted by a doctor.​
  • Ear Band-It: Made by the same company that makes Putty Buddies, these neoprene headbands keep ear plugs in place.
  • Putty Buddies: These soft silicone earplugs are extra large to completely fill the outer ear and provide a watertight seal over the ear canal. Designed by a doctor for his kids with ear tubes, they're also cute, capable of floating, and low cost.

Swim Diapers

While it's easy to find swim diapers for infants and toddlers, it can be difficult to find secure, discreet swim diapers for older individuals. Fortunately, several companies have come to the rescue with a variety of options for different ages and needs. All of these are options for managing incontinence with swim diapers and secure underwear sized for older kids, teens, and even adults.

Special Needs Swimsuits

Solve dressing and safety problems with big-kid, teen, and adult-sized suits designed to snap over diapers, go on easily or float.

  • My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuit: Flotation Swimsuits are popular for kids of all abilities. As a result, they come in many sizes and styles for little ones. For adults, the company makes swim diapers as well as a flotation belt.
  • SlipOn Swimsuits: Created by the same people who make the SOSecure Swim underwear for adults and kids, these unique swimsuits wrap and attach with minimal fuss.
  • Suits Me Wraparound Swimsuits: Similar in concept to the SlipOns, Suits Me Wraparounds are designed to be worn as one or two-piece bathing suits, for people of almost any size.

Flotation Devices

Staying safe in the water is easier with these special-needs-suited devices that make floating fun. Because they are intended for individuals with special needs, they are on the pricey side. On the other hand, they're solidly built and a good investment that will last for years.

Before buying, however, be sure that your favorite pool is willing to allow large-scale flotation devices. In some cases, anything larger than a typical life vest may be prohibited (or limited to certain times or situations).

1 Source
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  1. Disabled Sports USA. Swimming.