Should little girls cover up in the pool?

A mum of a 3-year-old girl is told to put a T-shirt on her daughter because all girls should wear a top. Sensible precaution or totally unfair?

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When our little ones are really little and we take them swimming or paddling, chances are they’ll normally just be dressed in a swim nappy as long as the water’s warm enough, right?

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But, at what point should girls start to wear a swimming costume that covers their top half as well?

It’s a controversial question, and one that stirred up a lot of parents online recently, when it came to light that the mum of a 3-year-old girl had been asked to put a T-shirt on her child at a public splashpark, as it was ‘policy’ that girls should have their chest covered.

We have to say, when we shared this story on our Facebook page, lots of you were pretty shocked.

“The only reason they should be made to wear tops is for sun protection,” says Laura G. “It’s weird how men can go topless but women can’t. Little girls don’t even have breasts; they look the same as boys at that age.

“Way to teach girls to be ashamed of their bodies!”

Alexandra G agrees: “Only if boys have to have tops on, too. If not, I’d have told them where to go!”

As does Cat H, who tells us, “At this age, there is little difference in appearance and it matters not at all. Why does my lad have any more right to not wear a top than a girl the same age?” 

Others, though, reckoned that this is more a sign of the times than anything else, and, for that reason, it probably makes sense.

“This day and age, it’s a good idea,” says Carol C. “But, then again, I put shorts on under my daughter’s dresses in case she does handstands etc…”

“Yes, it’s how society is today,” agrees Nadia B.

And Rachel R finds herself doing it, even though she doesn’t think it’s fair: “I think it’s wrong but I have always kept clothes on my girls.”

But when Ruth N commented, “You never know how many weirdos are around!!”, Sarah W countered with, “Yet a little boy is fine to have no top on?”

Hmmmmm, we reckon this is one that’ll keep on rolling…

What do you think?

Should there be a different rules for girls than boys when it comes to what to wear in the pool? If so, at what age? And is it just being sensible – or sexist? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook

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