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Babies learn vital life saving skills in Ipswich swimming classes

PUBLISHED: 19:00 06 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:14 07 November 2018

Babies and parents enjoy bonding time in the water. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Babies and parents enjoy bonding time in the water. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Archant

An Ipswich baby and toddler swimming group is teaching their children how to survive falling into water in active lessons with parents.

Most of the babies were well behaved at the class. Picture: RACHEL EDGEMost of the babies were well behaved at the class. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Puddle Ducks is teaching children up to five years old life saving skills – including holding on to the side of a pool to wait for help and younger babies are shown how to lift their heads above the surface if they fall into water face down.

Children are also taught how to be disciplined around water with children being sat on the side of the pool before jumping in after instruction from their parents.

There has already been a case where the training has helped.

Claire Bailey, owner of Puddle Ducks at Hintlesham, said: “With so many bodies of water around our children it is so important to teach them these skills from a young age. The younger the better really.

“In a controlled environment, in a pool they can learn how to cope with this situation, so if it unfortunately happened out there in the real world, they’d be more equipped to deal with it.

“Only last week we had a parent tell us that their child has fallen into water and they managed to hold on to the sides and climb out.”

A quarter of drownings involving those under the age of five is in water that the child could stand up in.

The business has also been raising money for local charities by holding fun pyjama parties for parents and children.

Babies are not allowed to wear arm bands in the pool as it creates a false sense of security. Picture: RACHEL EDGEBabies are not allowed to wear arm bands in the pool as it creates a false sense of security. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Through charity sessions and a big raffle the group raised £3,600 which will be split between The Neonatal Unit at the Ipswich Hospital and the Shelley Centre for Therapeutic Riding.

The school feels a special affinity with the charities as they have swimmers that have spent time in The Neonatal Ward and Nicole Robinson, who takes her eight month old son Monty to the classes, said: “We love these sessions. We come to one class a week.

“It really is a life-saving skill. Whether it is a matter of having a pond in your parents’ garden or if you are by a pool on holiday, the fact that they are learning to swim, learning to hold their breath, to find their way back to the side of the pool is very important and could save their lives.

“Monty is really growing in confidence and is now happy to close his eyes more and he is putting his face into the water instead of me doing it.”

Children took part in activites alongside their parents. Picture: RACHEL EDGEChildren took part in activites alongside their parents. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

There were six babies in attendance. Picture: RACHEL EDGEThere were six babies in attendance. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Group activities saw babies pushing an inflatable ball to each other. Picture: RACHEL EDGEGroup activities saw babies pushing an inflatable ball to each other. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

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