If you watched the Commonwealth Games bursting with pride at the success of the home nations, you may have been inspired to encourage your little ones to take up a sport in the hope that one day they too will proudly hold up a medal as their national anthem plays.
It’s never too soon to get your little ones interested in an active lifestyle, and swimming is a sport children can really enjoy from birth.
Water Babies, the UK’s leading baby and toddler swim school, teaches 41,000 children every week and the youngest pupils to take their first paddle have been two days old.
The swimming school is encouraging parents to take inspiration from the Commonwealth Games and get their children water safe as early as possible to create a generation of swimming superstars with great water safety awareness! With a new term set to start in September, there’s never been a better time to sign up to lessons.
WaterBabies 5 Quick Tips for Parents
1. Actively supervise young children around water
If leaving, even for a moment, take your child with you or designate a known adult to supervise. Make sure that the person supervising can swim themselves and will happily jump into the water to rescue a struggling child. Don’t ask older siblings to watch younger children – they’re not trained or mature enough to be given such a responsibility.
2. Be safety conscious at the poolside
Save the local emergency numbers on your mobile phone on the first day of your holiday and make sure your whole family knows where the rescue equipment and lifeguards are based.
3. Flotation devices are not life preservers
Toys and inflatables are often unstable and can be a hazard without adequate supervision. They are never a replacement for adult supervision.
4. Do not swim at beaches with large waves, a powerful undertow or no lifeguards
Find out where the lifeguards are and learn water symbols and flags indicating current beach conditions. Follow their advice.
5. Stay sober
Drinking can impair your supervision and swimming skills – especially when combined with the mid-day heat.
5 quick tips for children
1. Never, ever swim alone
2. Never push or jump either in or around water – it might result in injury
3. Never dive into water unless an adult has already tested the depth and checked for underwater hazards
4. Before you swim, always ask what to do in an emergency and where to get help
5. Always wait an hour after a meal before swimming
Paul Thompson, Water Babies co-founder said: “Our research showed that the average age children start swimming lessons is four years old and yet 40% of children haven’t had a lesson by the age of 12. Just imagine the medals we could win if everyone started swimming from birth like some of our little splashers!
“We believe that by introducing children to the water as early as possible, they are less likely to experience fear if they fall into water. With progressive training, babies can be taught lifesaving skills and over the last few years a dozen of our pupils have saved themselves from drowning, some of whom were just two years old.”
For more information on WaterBabies, visit: www.waterbabies.co.uk