BABIES as young as just a few days will now be able to take part in multi-award winning swimming classes starting in Bexhill.
The Water Babies programme, run by Ninfield mum Kelly Lockwood, is designed to make the most of babies’ natural affinity with water and teaches confidence and safety, using specialist techniques that see many swimming short distances from as young as 30 months.
Previously the manager of a garden centre, Kelly went on to study for a horticultural qualification before pursuing a career in learning and development.
She first discovered Water Babies when she started taking her son Archie, now five-and-a-half years old, to swimming classes.
She said: “Swimming with Archie was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.
“I used to be a bit of a control freak, and the first time I really felt comfortable in my role as a new mum and able to ‘let go’ was when we were swimming together.”
Kelly loved swimming with Archie so much that she went on to qualify as a swimming instructor herself, teaching in her spare time.
The turning point came when Archie started school and needed more help with his homework and reading practice which made Kelly realise that she wanted a job where she could spend more time with her family.
Baby swimming lessons are a good form of gentle exercise for parents and babies whilst also being great for enhancing parent/carer and baby bonding and generally having fun together.
Despite the emphasis on fun, the course does have a serious safety point to it.
Kelly said: “Tragically, drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death among children in the UK.
“In most cases it’s the shock of sudden submersion that causes children to panic. We believe that by introducing babies to the water from as early as possible, they’ll be less likely to experience fear if they do fall in.”
Speaking about launching her own Water Babies business, Kelly added: “I remember the sheer joy I experienced teaching Archie to swim and to be able to do this for someone else is incredible.”
Classes will take place on Saturday mornings at St Marys School in Bexhill.
Details from 01424 892568 or visit www.waterbabies.co.uk