Water Babies’ “Top Tips for Water Safety”

Our strategic partnership with Water Babies reflects the wider acceptance that, to deliver our core purpose of preventing drowning and empowering everyone to enjoy water safely, we need to collaborate and innovate with others to pool together skills, passion, innovation and insight. 

And just like the RLSS UK, Water Babies believes you’re never too young to learn a skill for life.

Water Babies’ Aquatics Director Hannah Smith, has compiled some top tips for your little one’s water safety, from bath to beach! 

Start swimming lessons as early as possible

Fear of the water is a learnt behaviour, so it is important to get your little ones accustomed to the water at a young age, and show them how to respond to this environment in a safe way.

It’s really important not to pass on your own fears of the water. At Water Babies we see babies swimming from birth and have had pupils as young as a day old in our classes.

Make bath-time fun

Start introducing water to your baby in a fun environment by making bath time enjoyable with songs and toys. This positive association will then be transferred to the swimming pool and bigger water-based environments. But it’s not just about having fun. For instance, did you know, children who take part in baby swimming reach developmental milestones such as counting to 10 much earlier than expected?

Be aware of your surroundings at the poolside

Be aware of the type of pool that your little one is swimming in and check the temperature. This should be a minimum 30 degrees and if your baby is under 12 weeks or 12 pounds, this needs to be 32 degrees or above. Take in the wider surroundings also and check if there is a lifeguard on duty, whether there are any slippery surfaces, where the deep end of the pool is and if there are any cracked tiles; as these are all factors to consider when ensuring water safety.

Kit your baby out in all the gear

There are lots of great things you can kit your baby out in – a floppy sun hat if you’re outside, a happy nappy wetsuit if you’re worried they might get a little chilly and for older toddlers, a float jacket can give them a little bit of independence (but make sure you don’t leave them unsupervised).

Always keep an eye on your children

Always keep a watchful eye on your children, even if there is a lifeguard on duty.

Lifeguards are a great additional resource but do not solely rely on this. Designate an adult who can put their phone away whilst they keep an eye on the children who are both in and around the pool, and always keep non-swimmers within arm’s length.

Floatation devices are not life preservers

Floatation devices can be a fun experience for babies, children and grown-ups alike, but they are not life preservers. Even if your little one has floats, you shouldn’t take your eyes off them; they can float away with currents and tides, or even tip over with your little one inside.

Paddling pool and beach safety

Paddling pools are great fun in the garden on a hot summer’s day, but always keep water safety a priority, even if your children are in a paddling pool with just a few inches of water. Once you’re finished, empty out the water and tip the paddling pool over. And at the beach, always check whether there are trained lifeguards on duty, learn what the flags mean and obey them! Look out for signage about the site, and keep in mind possible rip currents and tides.

Learn Basic Life Support (BLS)

When it comes to emergency and survival, every second counts. At Water Babies, all our teachers are qualified lifesavers and are trained to carry out infant resuscitation (a qualification which they renew every two years). All teachers also carry:

  • First aid kits
  • First aid books
  • Mobile phones
  • Emergency action plans, customised for each pool
  • Local emergency numbers 

If you are abroad, make sure you know the emergency number and it is always advisable to have a first aid kit with you.

Water Babies online

Water Babies believes that everyone should have the chance to build water confidence in their little ones. Whether you’re learning in the sink, bath or swimming pool. Water Babies Learn is a series of online videos which contain a Water Babies teacher passing on their knowledge and expertise through handy practical videos, which show you key skills you can teach your little one, wherever you are. From getting baby ‘comfortable with water’, to ‘holding on’ and ‘first swimming position’, Water Babies videos are a valuable resource parents and carers can come back to, time and time again.

See the baby swimming tips and content for yourself on the Water Babies website! 

You only have to spend a few minutes of your time watching any of the short, informative videos on the Water Babies website, to get a real feel for the comprehensive structure that goes into creating light-hearted learning and memorable water safety sessions, for the very youngest swimmers.

Lifesaving Academy 0-4-years membership

By becoming a member of RLSS UK, you can play a vital part in our work towards keeping the UK and Ireland free from drowning and ensuring that our future generations enjoy water safely.

Developed for infants and toddlers, our Lifesaving Academy membership initiates the development of a safe and enjoyable relationship with the water for your little one. 

One of the many benefits of the membership is you will receive a welcome gift, including £10 Water Babies voucher to spend on products and our unique pack of milestone cards.

Find out more about Lifesaving Academy 0-4-years membership