Swimming with your child is one of the most fantastic things
that you can enjoy.
Let's dip our toe in the water with some words from the experts...
Unless your child is confident around water, as a parent you'll end up having to spend most of your time keeping a very careful eye on your little one or keep them back from joining the other kids, confidently splashing away in the water. Some parents may have already invested in infant swimming classes to ensure their child is equipped with this very important life-saving skill. Yet many busy mums and dads are increasingly not being able to find the time to take their children to the nearest swimming pool to introduce them to the fun of being in the water and learning to swim. Sadly the later you leave it, the worse it gets.
Worrying statistics from the Amateur Swimming Association show that almost half of 7-11 year olds cannot swim 25 metres unaided (and so not achieving the National Curriculum target). Not only that, but 40% of those children who can't swim haven't even been offered the opportunity of learning to swim, a very important life-saving skill. Many parents will now be sitting up and thinking: get my baby and toddler to the pool as soon as possible!
There are so many great things around infant swimming and it’s not just physical development - you’ll also start to notice a host of psychological benefits too. Whether your priority is water safety or you simply want additional bonding time with your baby or to get them active from a young age, baby swimming has it all!
There are some key things to look out for when choosing a baby swim school that will help you to make the most of your time in the pool. Research undertaken by the nation’s largest baby swimming school show some definite advantages around how they go on to be far more active as they get older, defying the alarming trend in childhood obesity:
This is what one parent called Kate had to say about her experience of taking her baby to Water Babies swimming classes:
Click here for Kate’s own unique story about baby Theo.
“As I’m a teacher, I’m only too aware of how many children who simply can’t swim. So when I found out I was pregnant, the most important thing I wanted my baby to do was to go straight into the water and start learning. That way he would always be safe and confident, and it would feel completely natural to him.”
93% of Water Babies swimmers under the age of 5 are physically active for at least 3 hours per day;
91% of their slightly older Water Babies counterparts, (aged 7 to 8) easily meet the Chief Medical Officer guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity per day - this is way and above the UK average, where only around a half of 7 to 8 year olds achieve this recommendation;
92% of former Water Babies swimmers now aged 7 to 11 could easily swim 25 metres unaided where only 45% of this age group are able to swim the same distance on their own.
We urge parents to get down to a pool as soon as they can to introduce their babies and toddlers to the delights of swimming – it’s never too early to start, and when you do just take a look at the smiles on their little faces!
Here’s to you all having “splash-tatsic” fun!
Learning to swim is a key life skill that every child should be given the opportunity to learn.
STA, a charity dedicated to the teaching of swimming and water safety, believes in the joy of swimming for everyone and is passionate about teaching young learners how to be confident, and safe in and around water through its learn to swim programme.
Mike Goody, STA’s Water Safety Ambassador and four-times gold medal winner at the Invictus Games said:
“For me learning to swim is not just about teaching young children how to do the best front-crawl arms or to be able to swim 50 metres in the fastest time - it really is so much more. It’s about teaching children in a fun environment how to be safe in and around water – teaching them how to spot the dangers and to know what do in an emergency situation.”
Parents can also download our free water safety activity booklet here which teaches children (and adults) how to be safe at inland waterways, at the swimming pool and on the beach.
Ask your child’s school, sports group, or local swim school to get involved by registering their interest to take part via firstname.lastname@example.org where they will get access to an array of free, downloadable water safety resources to support STA’s Water Safety campaign.
After all, being able to enjoy the water confidently and safely with friends and family - whether at the beach, in a swimming pool or through social sports activities – is one of life’s pleasures.
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Teaching your child how to learn to swim is one of the most important life skills you can give them; and the first step is to ensure they gain water confidence so that they enjoy the experience, have fun and stay motivated.
This is where swimming aids, like Swim Jackets that have built-in adjustable buoyancy, work brilliantly – and as importantly, they give parents the confidence to take their children swimming outside of normal lessons and on holiday.
So let’s find out more about buoyancy aids from Konfidence, the multi award-winning designer and manufacturer of the Original Konfidence Jacket - the number one learn to swim jacket with adjustable buoyancy in Europe
When learning to swim, children’s arms need be free. Although using arm bands for example are good for supporting your child in the water, they will hinder progress in developing their swimming strokes. By placing the buoyancy around the tummy and back, a Swim Jacket is designed to allow youngsters to learn the art of swimming without feeling encumbered. In addition to the freedom and fun younger children get from being able to swim with older siblings in confidence and safety
The easy to use eight removable float system enables wearers to gain confidence in the water at their own pace. When your child is ready to move to the next level, you can simply remove each of the floats (which are numbered for ease) so that they rely less on the buoyancy aids until – before they know it – they are swimming all by themselves!
Parents also love the hi-vis yellow on the back of the Original Konfidence Jacket because it means they can keep an eye on their little ones more easily at the beach or in a crowded swimming pool. Plus it comes with 100% UV Protection on all covered areas.
Core to Konfidence’s ethos is an old saying called ‘Swim-ology’ – “You may study all the '-ologies' of the world, but if you do not learn swimology, all your studies are useless.”
“Fundamentally, learning to swim is a key life skill,” explained Konfidence. “We want our products to give young children the confidence to learn to swim safely and to give them the freedom to enjoy playing in the water on holiday or for leisure at their local pool, with parents, family and friends.”
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SwimFin is the unique swimming aid which allows children to have freedom of movement while being fully supported in the water.
SwimFin inspires imagination and play. When a child puts on a SwimFin, they immediately become more active, playing, building confidence, learning, experimenting and having FUN! SwimFin plays a psychological part in learning to swim, even before a lesson has started. Kids love the feeling of safety and security SwimFin gives them, while it motivates and encourages imagination and play. SwimFin is a teaching aid, flotation device and fun water toy all in one. It should be worn high on the back, above the centre of gravity. This way it will ‘suspend’ the child in the water – it will not tip a child forward if worn correctly.
The most important thing about SwimFin is this: the more submerged it is, the more support it is giving. This means when the child is vertical, doggy paddling through the water, SwimFin will be almost completely submerged, giving maximum support. As the child’s body position becomes more horizontal, SwimFin comes out of the water giving less support. This means the child is swimming more for themselves with less and less assistance. And SwimFin never has to be inflated, deflated, or need to have additional support added or removed as with armbands/discs, body vests etc.
For more information about SwimFin, please visit their website HERE.
At Baby Paddlers we teach you and your children to be water confident – something we believe starts with having fun! Our classes provide a great bonding opportunity and are tailored to support you both. We welcome all children from 0 – 4 years, and love helping them develop, from the special first Splash, to their first Kick and the all-important first Swim.
With a choice of days, times and locations to choose from we’re sure you’ll find a class to fit around your child’s busy schedule.
To find out more visit www.babypaddlers.co.uk or call us for a friendly chat on 01962 680236 (10am – 2pm Mon-Fri).
We look forward to welcoming you to Baby Paddlers.
Celebrating 25 years of teaching babies to love the water, Little Dippers was founded in 1992 by baby swim pioneer Lauren Heston with her now world renowned Little Dippers infant water safety programme. Our classes offer babies water safety training in a fun and nurturing environment.
Even the smallest of babies can learn essential water safety techniques from birth that could one day save a life. As one of the first activities you can do with your newborn, this is a special time to bond with your baby where you can focus on just you and your baby.
It can also help them develop physically, mentally and emotionally with recent research suggesting that swimming is a great start to your child’s brain development which can result in heightened cognitive behaviour, strengthened muscles and stronger heart and lungs. The multi-sensory environment of the pool, along with the nurturing effect of the water is a wonderful start to your baby’s development.
We run our classes in warm water pools across London and our flagship purpose built baby swim centre in Brighton. You can book a course online at: www.littledippers.co.uk or call us for a chat on T:01273 229 3990.
Swimming is a great inclusive activity for all the family to enjoy, but before you head to the pool, what essentials do you need in your swim bag?
Splash About, which designs and develops some of the most advanced swimwear and buoyancy aids for babies and children available on the market, picks today’s must-have kit for a stress-free fun swim time!
A Happy Nappy, this reusable neoprene swim nappy is so effective at preventing unwelcome faecal leaks in the pool it’s the only brand insisted upon by 95% of UK swim schools and is recommended by the British Standards Guidelines for Baby Swimming. No need to wear with a disposable underneath so it’s cost effective and environmentally friendly too. The Happy Nappy is suitable from birth and available in a great range of designs.
Splash About’s multi-award winning FloatSuit with its adjustable buoyancy is the perfect learn-to-swim aid, giving children from 12months+ complete freedom of movement and positioning them correctly in water for learning-to-swim. It’s also the only FloatSuit on the market with a full back zip – ideal for easy dressing!
View the entire collection at www.splashabout.com
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