June 03, 2013 3 min read

If you’ve been wondering, what’s the big deal about swimming nappies, read on.

There is something unbelievably gross about the thought of swimming in a public pool that is contaminated with faecal matter. Aside from the grossness, swimming with human faeces and swallowing pool water that is infected with offending floaties, poses a huge health risk, with the potential to cause some nasty cases of gastro, including Giardiasis and Cryptosporidiosis.

Earlier this year, a public pool in Kununurra, Western Australia, made the newswhen, after a spate of potential health risks, it urged parents to use appropriate swim nappies and to be more vigilant of their children’s bowel movements.

Every state has a policy for dealing with faecal accidents in public swimming pools and spas, but Western Australia’s policy is particularly detailed, requiring that “[b]abies or children who ordinarily wear nappies shall wear a tight fitting aqua-nappy or similar costume when using the water.”

In fact, wearing a swim nappy is now a requirement in almost every public swimming pool across Australia.



If you’ve perused the baby aisle at Woolworths or Coles in the past 10 years, you might have noticed packs of disposable swim nappies on the shelves. All well and good from a hygiene perspective. But what happens if you don’t want to spend a dollar per swim on a nappy? And what do you do if you want a reusable, environmentally-friendly alternative? Or what if your aquatic centre actually says NO to disposable swim nappies because escaping fibres clog their pool filters? (1)

Apart from the ease of use, monetary savings and eco-friendly factors, reusable nappies for swimming are without a doubt the easiest way to begin to make the switch from disposable to reusable nappies.



And the testimonials by parents who’ve chosen these swim nappies speak for themselves:


“Very impressed with the Paddle Pants. My daughter has worn it now for over 6 months. It is so fantastic that the nappy can be adjusted to fit her quickly growing body. The quality is fantastic and looks just as good now as it did brand new.”
– Hayley, Newcastle


“Mr 23 Months is just off to the pool to show off his Paddle Pants again. Love, love, love them!”
– Lorna, Sydney


“I used Paddle Pants for the first time recently. My boy’s allergies have been playing up big time, so nappies have been a shocker, to the point I almost considered disposables! I had no idea he had a major poo until I took the swim nappy off. It wasn’t even on the gussets!”
– Shelley, Nowra 




  • Check your baby every half hour. If the swim nappy is doing its job, you won’t know they’ve pooed unless you check!
  • Don’t let your child swim if he/she has diarrhea.
  • Swim nappies are not designed to absorb wee (if they did, they would also absorb pool water and your child would quickly sink) so allow your child plenty of toilet breaks.


Remember: Swim nappies are not a substitute for frequent toilet breaks and nappy changes. Happy paddling!


(1) Author’s note: Our swim centre in Sydney prohibited the use of disposable swim nappies after discovering that the fibres from disposable swim nappies were causing filter blockages. It is not uncommon for aquatic centres to ban disposable swim nappies and to sell reusable alternatives at the front counter. Our swim centre on the NSW South Coast recently shared this board:
Our swim centre in Sydney prohibited the use of disposable swim nappies after discovering that the fibres from disposable swim nappies were causing filter blockages.

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