Swimming is an essential skill for children to learn, confidence in the water can literally be a lifesaver.
Shockingly last year, STA (Swimming Teachers' Association) found that over 25% of parents and 1 in 3 children (0–16 years) could not swim! Their International Learn to Swim Week promotes water safety and learning to swim, no matter age, location, or ability.
We’ve asked our Frugi Family for tips on being water confident, chatted to local surf mum Corinne Evans about how important teaching beach and water safety to little ones is and our very own Julia is taking her daughter Ava to her first swimming lesson!
You could also win a Frugi swimming kit, including one of our fab hooded towels, Frugi swimwear of your choice, a Ready, Steady GO! bag and a Guppyfriend washbag! yippeee!
So grab your goggles and jump in!
Take a dip with us
First swimming lessons are both exciting and nerve-racking…not just for little ones but for parents too. Whether you’re cheering on from the side-lines or taking a dip with them it’s usual to have a few reservations beforehand. Will they like it? Will they scream the place down? Will I pass my anxieties onto them? Julia from the Frugi team went through all the emotions when she took 3-year-old Ava for her first swimming lesson. Here she tells all...
Not a fan of swimming myself I’d been waiting for Ava to turn 3 so that she could have lessons without having to get wet myself. Thankfully she hadn’t picked up on my reluctant vibes and inspired by watching her older sister enjoy swimming lessons, didn’t have to be asked twice when I asked her if she wanted to join a pre-school group at the local swimming pool. We were off to a good start!
After trying out her new Little Coral Frugi cozzie in the bath a few days beforehand and lots of build-up chatter about what an exciting time she was going to have, how she was a big girl/just like her sister etc we arrived at the swimming pool with Ava raring to go. To be honest I was waiting for reality to kick in and for Ava to have second thoughts at the side of the pool but she was a little trooper and calmly took the instructors hand as she was led into the pool (with a little encouragement from one of the other children – bless!).
The pool itself was perfect for beginners with a gentle slope so that little legs can go as deep (or as shallow) as they feel comfortable and with two instructors looking after five children there was lots of attention to go around.
Things get real
The lesson kicked off with a mid-waist wade through the water testing Ava’s comfort zone from the get-go – cue the first wobble! The tears were brief though and with Mummy smiling like a crazy thing at the side (inside I was a still anxiously waiting for things to take a nose dive!) she splashed her way through some noddle activities, jumps and even got her face wet.
At this pre-school level the lesson was all about being comfortable in the water which was just perfect for Ava’s confidence and she may have clung to the instructor’s fingers for the entire 30 minutes but there were also lots of smiles – thanks in particular to the jolly rendition of ‘Monkeys jumping on the bed’. And best of all Ava declared that she wanted to go again as she waded out of the pool. We’ll see if she’s still on the same page next week but for now I’m putting it down as a success. Woohoo, way to go Ava!
Make a splash
Rocking our fun and bright designs, the Frugi swimwear collection is perfect for fun at home and on holiday, seaside escapades and pool parties. Take your pick from swimsuits, board shorts, hats, rash vests, tankinis, hooded towels and lots more. And thanks to our brand new Frugi Bloom swimsuits, for the first-time little ones can twin with grown-ups in their matching swimsuits!
- OEKO-TEX approved fabric with no nasty chemicals
- Quick dry board shorts and hats made with 100% post-consumer recycled polyester - that's recycled plastic bottles, how clever is that!?
- Fabric has a UPF rating of 50+ to keep delicate skin safe in the sun
- Chlorine safe for fun in the pool
We caught up with Corinne Evans Jones, a Cornwall based free surfer and blogger, to find out about her love for swimming and how she’s helping her little boy, Albee- 9 months, share her passion for water.
Hi Corinne! When did you first learn to swim?
I learnt as a child. It was always something I did and from an early age I was confident in the water. Both Ben (the hubby) and I love surfing - we live to surf. We spend our free time on the beach and cannot wait to enjoy it as a family with Albee.
Have you taken your son swimming yet?
I have and in fact, we are in level two of our Turtle Tots Cornwall course. He absolutely loves swimming. He's naturally very comfortable in the water, which makes me so happy. We have been swimming since he was six months old and is something we will continue to do (find out more here).
Any top tips for encouraging kids to enjoy the water safely?
- Teach them how to swim at an early age
- Remove all pressure and make it as fun as possible
- Introduce them to watersports like surfing or bodyboarding
- Get in the water with them
How do you keep safe at the beach?
I know my limits and never paddle out in surf that's too big for me. I always think it's better to surf and swim on lifeguarded beaches and of course between the designated flags.
What should parents look out for at the beach as far as water safety goes?
Look for the lifeguards and if they aren't there, look for signs that tell you about the beach. The flagged areas on the beach are the areas the lifeguards have deemed safe to swim and surf. Black and white checkered flags for surfing and red and yellow for swimming and bodyboarding. If you see a red flag on the beach then it's too dangerous to go in the water. Also, look out for rips, and if you don't know what a rip is, always ask a lifeguard.
How do you spot a rip tide and why are they dangerous?
Rips can be difficult to spot, but if you see a choppy area of water on the surface or a channel of churning water it's more than likely a rip current. They are dangerous. The water can drag out to sea, away from the shoreline.
What should you do if you think you might be caught in one?
If you do find yourself caught in a rip:
- Don’t try to swim against it or you’ll get exhausted.
- If you can stand, wade don’t swim.
- If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore.
- Always raise your hand and shout for help.
If you see anyone else in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.
Beach safety tips
From recognising beach flags and signs to sun safety, they are the experts!
Pop over to their website
Thinking about swimming lessons for your children? What’s the best age to start? How can you encourage them and what do you need?
Our fab Frugi Family members share their top tips…
“If you are in the water with them be confident – they will pick up on it if you’re not relaxed” advised Maxine while Johanna added “It’s not necessarily all about their confidence but yours too.”
“Take lots of snacks for afterwards, they get very hungry,” said Emily and Hayley agreed, “my little one eats for about an hour after swimming!”
“I get there early so that we can get ready and sit by the pool. Watching other little ones have fun in the water soon makes my little boy want to get in.” Buddug
And Zoe who’s a swim teacher was full of great tips. As well as suggesting that children go swimming for fun as much as possible between lessons she gave bath time the thumbs up as an ideal opportunity to practice basics such as “put chin in water, blow bubbles, nose in, eyes in, face in” and she got lots of nods of agreement from other Frugi Family members when she said, “Don’t expect too much. Each child does it at their own pace. I have lots of different ages in my beginner’s class.”
Do you have any advice to add? Join the conversation and share your experiences on the Frugi Family.
Have you seen the Guppyfriend?
This clever washing bag prevents microfibres from entering the sea by cleverly capturing them during the washing cycle.
As our swimwear is made from recycled polyester we recommend that Frugi swimwear is washed in one of these bags.
You can read all about it here