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New baby swimming guidelines launched

The ASA alongside baby and toddler swim school, Water Babies, and baby swimming product manufacturer Splash About International Ltd, has today launched new national guidelines to keep babies safe in swimming pools.

Published by the British Standards Institution, the Baby and Toddler Swimming Teaching Safety Guidelines will for the first time set industry-wide standards for swimming lessons and underwater photography practices.

Launched at a Parliamentary reception today (13 October), the guidelines provide best practice for swimming teachers and pool operators, and reassurance to parents that all aspects of their child’s swimming or photography session have been carefully considered.

Swimming is one of the few physical activities that can be done from birth and it is estimated that almost half a million babies and toddlers will take part in swimming lessons this year.

Parents can find more information about baby and toddler swimming here.

As well as providing comprehensive guidance on pool environment factors such as water temperature, the guidelines also give recommendations on using leak-proof neoprene swim nappy covers and as well as advice on safeguarding best-practice for those that offer underwater baby photography.

Commenting on the launch of the new guidelines, ASA Chief Executive Adam Paker, said: “Swimming is a great activity for babies and toddlers as it helps to improve their coordination and balance, and to develop an early love of the water.

“Ensuring the safety of babies and toddlers in our pools is paramount. The publication of these Baby and Toddler Swimming Teaching Safety Guidelines means that for the first time there is a national standard for the industry.

“This will give swimming teachers, pool operators and underwater baby photographers the confidence that they are providing the best services possible, and parents the reassurance that important safeguarding and health and safety practices have been carefully considered.”

The Baby and Toddler Swimming Teaching Safety Guidelines, officially referred to as PAS 520:2015, is available to buy here.

Steve Franks, Managing Director at Water Babies, commented: “We are grateful to our partners at the ASA and Splash About for their collaboration on this project, which marks a major milestone for ensuring best-practice across our industry.”

Bernadette Spofforth, CEO of Splash About, added: “These new guidelines will be game-changing for the industry. We are proud to have worked alongside Water Babies and the ASA to see these guidelines come to fruition.”

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