SIP 081: Sun protection for swim instructors

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This is the most essential product you can buy. I’m talking about sun tan lotion. Sun block.

We use this gallon jug.

You can use this too.

I suggest making it mandatory for all swim instructors to wear the lotion before they start their first lesson. When they’re done teaching each class, they should get out of the pool, talk to parents, dry off, and lube up with sun tan lotion again.

This is the number one best thing you can do (aside from not going outside) to protect your exposed skin from the damaging effects of the sun. Put your sun tan lotion on often.

Recommended reapply rate is once every hour if you’re in the water.

To creatively make sure your staff is wearing sunscreen, bake it into your routines and culture.

Put the sunscreen on together before your first lesson after your daily meeting / debrief.

Offer 45 minute swim lessons starting on the hour. After each class have a 15 minute break, and at the :55 get together for a group sun screen circle making sure to get everyone else’s shoulders and back. Use the pump lotion or the spray-on. Make sure you’re dry so it stays connected to the skin.

Rash Guard

You can check these out,, but I recommend going to swim outlet for something more like these:

Wear them to cover more skin, but still provide mobility and comfort. They are effective because the fabric will block the skin. Make these optional for your staff and cover the cost if they’re used. i don’t have a good recommendation to get teenagers to wear these, but if you do please comment! Maybe an end of the year bonus if you buy one and use it daily?


wow. We had these type of hats available to us when I taught swim lessons, but very few people wore them. They looked weird, and only the most confident, most bold were willing to wear them. At the time that was not me.

You can wear these hats to protect your face and head from the damaging effects of the sun while you’re teaching swimming lessons. Pair this with good sunglasses and you have total protection for your eyes and head.

Change lesson times.

The worst time to be under the sun uncovered is between 10-4pm. The absolute worst between 11-2pm.

Change your swim lessons to be earlier in the morning done at 11, and later in the evening starting at 4pm. That way your staff misses out on the worst of the sun. Your swimmers, often children, will benefit too from the decreased intensity of the sun. it might be a little colder, it might be a little more cloudy or uncomfortable, but you’ll be protected and you’ll be doing right by your teenage staff that, like me, will resist wearing sun screen.


Better swimming.
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