Babies as young as just 12 weeks old will soon be able to take part in multi-award winning swimming classes starting at Barrow School. The specialist classes, designed to make the most of babies’ natural affinity with water, teach confidence and safety, using expert techniques.
Since it was co-founded by Paul Thompson in 2002, Water Babies has grown into the world’s largest baby swim school, today teaching more than 42,000 babies every week through a network of family businesses across the UK and Ireland.
With the support of over 50 franchisees and around 350 teachers, Water Babies has won more than eight national awards over the last few years, including Best Swimming Class, Best Baby Development Activity, and Best Baby & Toddler Development Activity 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 with What’s On 4 Little Ones.
Classes across Suffolk and North East Essex are run by Bex Succamore, who was originally introduced to the concept of baby swimming through taking her first child, Nathan, to Water Babies classes when he was 8 months old. ‘As a child, I’d hated swimming,’ Bex confesses, ‘so when a friend suggested going along to classes I thought it would be a good way to ensure Nathan had a positive experience with water, right from the start. I was a rather nervous mum when we turned up to our first lesson, but we both loved it, and I’d say that I learned just as much from the lessons as Nathan did!’ So much so, in fact, that Bex put her second child’s name on the waiting list before he’d even been born!
We are so excited to offer even more local Water Babies and their parents the chance to bond and gain skills through swimming, when we start classes at Barrow School in May.
Classes start in May at Barrow School
While Water Babies lessons are fun for both parent and little one, the course also has an extremely serious added benefit. “Worryingly, research we commissioned this year revealed that 75% of parents are unaware drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death in children in the UK”, Bex explains.
“In most cases it’s the shock of sudden submersion that causes children to panic. We passionately believe that by introducing babies to water as early as possible, they’ll be less likely to experience fear if they do fall in. Our research also showed that the average age children start swimming lessons is four, despite that fact they can start from birth. In fact, we’ve had pupils as young as just two days old.”
“With progressive training, babies can be taught lifesaving skills very early on such as turning onto their backs or, following a sudden submersion, swimming to the nearest solid object. In the last few years at least ten tiny Water Babies pupils have saved their own lives, five of whom were just two years old at the time. It’s fantastic what vital skills children can learn, and it’s so important that they do so as soon as possible.”
In addition to the more serious safety skills, another key focus of the half-hour sessions is enhancing bonding and generally having great fun together. Bex adds: “With research showing that new mothers are less likely to suffer from post natal depression if they can gain support from their peers, that’s another reason why we’re very proud of what we do.”