Help Your Child To Love Water Safely as we Celebrate International Learn To Swim Week
Swimming with your child is one of the most fantastic things that you can enjoy with your child. In celebration of International Learn To Swim Week 21st to 27th May we're going to spend the month focusing on how to get your tots prepared for this fun but most necessary skill.
You may have some questions, our community of parents have already asked 'When can I take my baby swimming?', 'How old should my baby be before I can take it to the pool?', 'Can my baby swim in a nappy', 'What's the best floatation device for kids'.
Let's dip our toe in the water with some words from the experts...
Lessons that are flexible and affordable - Learn to Swim with 25% off
At Better, we teach over 100,000 pupils per week to swim throughout the UK. Our Swim School is available at over 100 locations and is designed to be flexible and affordable, with prices starting from as little as £3 per lesson. We are fully inclusive and support all swimmers to progress, whatever their age or ability. Classes include:
- One-to-one lessons
- Adult & Child lessons (up to 3 years)
- Pre-school Lessons (3-5 years)
- Children’s Learn to Swim Lessons
- Children Aquatics Skills, including Rookie Lifesaving, Multi Aquatics and Challenge Awards
As proud supporters of International Learn to Swim Week, we're helping you take the plunge with 25% off Swim School lessons.
Use promo code ‘SWIMMING’ to apply the discount at the online checkout before 3rd June 2018.
To find out more, or book online, visit www.better.org.uk/swimweek
Buoyancy Aids Helping Children Learn to Swim with Konfidence
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, who this year celebrate the 20th anniversary of its multi award-winning ‘Original Konfidence Swim Jacket’ - the number one learn to swim jacket with adjustable buoyancy in Europe and a firm favourite with parents in over 25 countries worldwide.
Why choose a Swim Jacket over other buoyancy aids?
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
How does the Swim Jacket’s buoyancy work?
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!
Additional safety features for peace of mind …
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.
Swimology – Swimming as a Key Life Skill
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.”
To celebrate Konfidence’s 20th anniversary, there is a special WhatsOn4 exclusive 10% discount code – use WO410 at www.konfidence.co.uk
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Learning to swim is a key life skill that every child should be given the opportunity to learn
To promote the importance of this message, hundreds of swim centres both here in the UK and abroad will be celebrating International Learn to Swim Week (21-27 May), a campaign headed-up by STA to promote the benefits of learning to swim and water safety #LoveWaterSafely.
STA is a UK charity that works globally to promote the teaching of swimming, lifesaving and survival techniques, and its International Learn to Swim Week has been designed to focus, and raise awareness about the importance of learning to swim in support of water safety education. For the first time this year swim centres from as far as South Africa, Singapore, India, Thailand, Vietnam and the Ukraine, plus many more in Europe will also be joining in.
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.”
For 2018, STA is focusing on all the fun, health AND safety elements of learning to swim, from baby to adult swimming, disability swimming and the importance of enjoying swimming as a family.
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 – hence #LoveWaterSafely has the campaign theme.
Ask your child’s school, sports group, or local swim school if they are involved. Parents can also download STA’s free water safety activity booklet which teaches children (and adults) how to be safe at inland waterways, at the swimming pool and on the beach.
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Learning to swim should be fun!
As a responsible parent we naturally want to protect our children and a good way to do this is to improve their confidence in and around the water. A shocking statistic but drowning is still the 3rd largest cause of accidental death amongst children in the UK with most cases occurring near to the water’s edge. By attending regular and structured lessons your child will have a better chance of survival if they are familiar with water and basic safety techniques.
Did you know…
A drowning incident in the home takes many people by surprise, as it happens silently within seconds, in as little as 2 centimetres of water, in less time than it takes to answer the telephone. It can take place in the bathtub, swimming pool or garden pond. The estimated time that a drowning victim was noted to be missing was usually less than 5 minutes and in a swimming pool drowning, no carer has ever reported hearing a splash, even when the carer was by the poolside. More British children drowned in pools whilst abroad on holiday, than those in the UK, most of them could swim. (http://www.childsafetyeurope.org/injurytopics/drowningwatersafety/info/water-wise-facts.pdf)
Swimkidz teach from birth to around 10 years, children will have learned valuable life-saving skills and be educated on water safety whilst being given the opportunity to enjoy and explore the water. Some children are not being given this opportunity which is often due to the parent being afraid of the water. The realisation for the parent often comes when on a summer holiday and they see other children having fun whilst their child looks on. It’s never too late to start swimming and with Summer holidays looming it’s time to take the plunge and get your child swimming.
For more information on baby, toddler and child swimming lessons visit www.swimkidz.co.uk or call 01189 836130. E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ARE UK CHILDREN EXITING SWIMMING LESSONS TOO EARLY?
NEWS - If your children are already in swimming lessons be careful not to end that learning too early!ARE UK CHILDREN EXITING SWIMMING LESSONS TOO EARLY?
A report ‘Understanding a Learners Swimming Journey’ carried out by STA for International Learn to Swim Week reveals too many are!
New research* from STA, a UK charity dedicated to the teaching of swimming and water safety, shows that children may be exiting learn to swim programmes too early, before they have achieved essential lifesaving and survival skills.
Commissioned by STA for International Learn to Swim Week (21-27 May), the study was carried out with 297 UK swim schools, who combined teach more than 93,000 children aged from 2-10 years every week.
The analysis showed that more than a quarter of swimming teachers believe that children are exiting learn to swim programmes before they are proficient in three essential skills; these being able to swim 50 metres unaided**, tread water for 2 minutes and perform personal survival techniques, i.e. jump in and swim back to the side unaided.
These three skills, with treading water being the highest, were identified by the swimming teaching respondents as being the minimum 3 skills a child should learn before being deemed an able swimmer.
A further 57% of the swimming teachers surveyed also said that some of the children they teach exit programmes before achieving these benchmark minimum skills. Only 16% said children are leaving swimming programmes with the ability to perform these skills.
Over the past 5 years, 35% of the respondents said the biggest decrease in the numbers of learners they teach, are aged 8 years plus.
The research also explored why children might be exiting lessons too early; with the main reason (74% of respondents) being cited as ‘parents believe their child can swim and water confident’.
This difference of opinion between what swimming teachers believe and parents say makes a child able to swim raises an important point. The research enforces a widely held industry view that parents value the teaching of strokes and distances more highly than the teaching of water safety and survival skills.
When asked, based on their experience, to rank from a list of nine skills what they believe parents deem the most important, the swimming teaching respondents answered distance swimming - front crawl and back crawl as the top two priorities for parents; with treading water coming in fifth and learning the water safety code and rescue techniques coming in seventh and eight position consecutively. Learning rescue techniques was only narrowly beaten to the bottom spot by learning distance - breast stroke.
Kayle Burgham, Head of Aquatics at STA, said the research has highlighted an industry-wide concern that too many children are exiting learn to swim programmes before they are ready and proficient in key swimming and lifesaving skills.
She said: “Too often, we hear that because a child can swim a length they are deemed to be an able swimmer; when in fact its quite the opposite as this can make it more dangerous for them as they get older and become more exposed to hazardous water environment – it gives the child a false sense that they ‘can’ swim, when in fact they have not learnt how to survive in water.”
“We understand as parents’ ourselves that it can be hard to keep older children in lessons, whether it is a cost issue or because it clashes with other sports or weekend social events – but it is imperative that these lifesaving practices are taught. This is why through our International Learn to Swim Programme (ILSP), we uniquely start teaching water safety skills from a young age – both swimming and water safety skills are embedded into every stage of the programme. And skills like treading water and rescue and survival skills are introduced very early on, to children as young as 5 / 6 years,” confirmed Kayle.
Positively the research also showed that swimming programmes for younger children continue to be popular; with 50% of respondents confirming they have seen an increase over the past five years in the number of learners they teach in the 5-7 years age group, and 46% seeing an increase in the 2-4 years age group.
Added to this, a massive 72% of all the respondents said they currently have a waiting list – a lack of pools, pool time availability and a need for more swimming teachers being the biggest stumbling blocks.
International Learn to Swim Week has been created by STA to raise global awareness about the importance of learning to swim in support of water safety education. For 2018, there are hundreds of swim schools from more than 20 countries joining in with the week-long activities. The campaign is focussed on all the fun, health AND safety elements of learning to swim, from baby to adult swimming, disability swimming and the importance of enjoying swimming as a family.
For further information visit www.sta.co.uk or follow #LoveWaterSafely on Twitter and Facebook