Staying afloat to mark Drowning Prevention Week

Dorset Echo: MAKING A SPLASH: Water babies MAKING A SPLASH: Water babies

LITTLE ones put on their pyjamas and jumped in the pool to mark Drowning Prevention Week.

Members of Dorset Water Babies, including those attending the Weymouth class at Wyvern School, left their costumes and trunks at home, and instead put on their PJs to support the national awareness campaign by the Royal Life Saving Society.

Drowning Prevention Week raises awareness of the dangers of water helps to increase people’s water safety.

Jo Tolley, who runs Dorset Water Babies, said: “When I heard about the campaign I thought we could do something to support the cause.

“I remember swimming in my pyjamas as part of safety lessons when I was learning to swim and I thought it would be something fun for the parents, toddlers and babies to do.

“We normally only keep the babies in their pyjamas for about fifteen minutes though so they don’t get too tired.”

According to the RLSS UK, around 400 people in the UK die from drowning every year, and approximately 40 of those are children.

Ms Tolley said: “Swimming is such an important life skill and if you know how to swim and ever fall into open water, you will have the best chance of survival.”

At Water Babies, parents are taught how to teach their children to swim. Children are able to attend classes from birth because they are born with the reflexes needed to swim underwater.

Children learn to swim with Water Babies until they go to school, by when they can usually swim anything from 5 to 25m.

Marie Betts has been taking her daughter Sophie to Water Babies since she was just four months old.

She said: “Sophie really enjoys the lessons and I really enjoy teaching her.”

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