We have 1.5-year-old child and live in Sydney, Australia. There are a few public fountain parks around;

  • A fountain park consists of water cannon, fountain and other toys that children can play with.

When it gets really hot, is it considered to be rude to allow a child in nappy without wearing anything else to play there?

  • This can depend a lot on local cultural standards. Which country or city are you referring to? Jan 30 '19 at 22:37
  • Sydney, Australia. @GregHewgill
    – Yu Zhang
    Jan 30 '19 at 22:57
  • 1
    How old is this child?
    – learner101
    Jan 31 '19 at 5:46
  • one and half years old
    – Yu Zhang
    Jan 31 '19 at 9:05

I don't live in Sydney, but I live in New Zealand which has similar cultural standards.

I think it is perfectly fine to let a child play in a fountain park with just a nappy on. I even occasionally see children playing in a fountain park with nothing at all on.

There are a couple of things to consider:

  • A regular nappy is going to absorb water like crazy, and will quickly become saturated and heavy. Better to use a "swim nappy" instead, which is not absorbent.
  • Be careful with sun exposure, even for a short time. The sun in Sydney can get pretty strong, and children's skin can get sunburned easily.

I usually have my kids wear at least a one-piece swimsuit, with perhaps an extra water shirt which covers shoulders and upper arms, plus a wide-brimmed hat. Since they're my kids, I know they are going to sunburn easily!


Please be considerate enough to use a "swim nappy/diaper". One "accident" in the fountain can make several people sick. You wouldn't want that for your child, neither does anyone else.


I think what you are referring to as a fountain park is comparable to our splash pad here (in the US). Unlike a pool, the assorted water toys are supported on a cement pad and the water is recirculated as it drains off the pavement. In all likelihood, the water does contain a certain amount of chlorination to prevent the transmission of disease, but... is that sufficient to think it would be okay to let a child who cannot yet control their bladder/bowel to play freely without attempting to prevent the spread of germs?

Generations of families have diapered their children to run and play in pools and at the sea. That was then. This is now. They didn't have things like Swim Diapers to help keep the water clean and free of diaper solids. Of course, we didn't know what E.coli was back then, either.... After some research on Swimming Pools and Health Risks, it looks like even Swim Diapers might not offer the protection we want. For our children, and others.

Every parent/guardian/caretaker should do everything they can to make sure that their child isn't exposed to dangerous elements, and to make sure their children are not making others sick as well. I'm not sure about "rude", but I would call it "inconsiderate".

  • 1
    I think this would be better if you made it specifically answer the question in addition to the advice you give. Right now it doesn’t actually answer the question (or ‘is it rude to only be in a nappy’). Thanks!
    – Joe
    Jan 31 '19 at 16:58
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    I'm still not quite sure you're directly answering what they meant -I think they meant "without wearing a shirt or pants", as in the baby equivalent of running around in their underwear - though it's helpful that you added the detail, and the consideration of swim diapers definitely is helpful and appreciated. Thanks!
    – Joe
    Feb 1 '19 at 16:14
  • yes, @Joe ... I know what they meant. I've changed many a diaper.
    – elbrant
    Feb 1 '19 at 18:58

I am from Germany which is far away but culturally similar in this point. At least I think so.

We assume it as quite normal to let them play in a fountain with only swim nappies on. Good practice is to put swim trunks over the nappies so that they keep close to the body when soaking water. Otherwise things might go through the water cannon you don't want to see there...

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