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learn to swim

Six questions about baby swimming that you are perhaps too afraid to ask

By Sport, swimming
by Susan Lee
new mum and Blue Lagoon regular

Being a first time mum there are so many new experiences as I learn to navigate the journey of parenthood, and baby swimming has definitely been a highlight for me. When I began my baby swimming adventure I had so many questions, so, in the small hours of the morning between feeds, I started my research online and then in person a few weeks later.

Now having experienced classes with my baby, I believe these are the top six questions parents want to ask when it comes to baby swimming, so decided I would share them with you.

When should I start to take my baby swimming?
Babies are allowed to go swimming at any age and do not have to have had their eight week vaccinations before entering a pool. It is, however, recommended that their umbilical cord stump has come off. It is also advised that mums go in the water only after having had their six week postnatal check. For your first time, it’s also great to go with another adult, another pair of hands to help with the bags and someone to help you relax in the water. Whilst we started early, it is never too late to embark on your swimming adventure – although the later you leave it the more likely you will have a delightfully stubborn toddler to contend with!

Do I need to attend classes or can I just take my baby to a swimming pool?
We found classes to be an excellent way to introduce our baby to the water. Not only did we learn some amazing skills, we got to meet other parents and have the reassurance of the teacher’s guidance. We were informed that babies who attend classes are more likely to be super confident in the water at an early age. You don’t however, need to attend structured classes and can simply go to your local swimming pool that offers parent and baby sessions.

Or why not treat yourself to a private swim where you can take your whole family along – we also did this so that our daughter’s grandparents could join in with and enjoy her swimming journey.

I learnt that taking my baby swimming was great for strengthening her heart and lungs, bonding with myself and my partner and creating a positive relationship with water. I found that swimming really helped to regulate her sleep – and boy did she sleep well after her class.

What should I put in my baby’s swim bag?
My big fear of taking our newborn into the water was, what if she has a poo? Having read that normal nappies blow up like balloons and then explode, we packed the suggested swimming nappies and neoprene covering pants which gave us total confidence that no ‘code browns’ would happen in the pool on our watch! We also packed a little swimsuit (because let’s face it they are just so cute), a poncho towel and a roll-up changing mat, although the place we went to did provide them, along with a changing table.

Please also remember to bring your own swimming costume and towel, so unlike my partner who once forgot his, you won’t have to go into the water in your underwear – turns out this is not good swimming pool etiquette! It made me laugh though, at least I can blame things like that on having ‘mummy brain.’ He didn’t have the luxury of that age old (but very real) excuse.

Do I need to be able to swim to attend classes?
Although I consider myself to be an honorary mermaid, in my classes there was a grown-up who was really sacred of the water. In fact, it was their main motivation for taking their little one swimming, helping to ensure that they wouldn’t grow up feeling the same way. Their fear was no issue at all as there is so much support from the staff and other parents and we were never out of our depth or our comfort zone anyway.

How to choose the perfect swim school?
Apparently not all swim schools are required to use trained teachers. So, whilst that may not be seen as essential, I wanted the reassurance that my teacher was a qualified baby instructor. Also important for me was:
• Nearby free parking.
• Good changing facilities – friends of mine have been to classes held in private residential homes and found themselves having to get changed by the side of the pool or in unsuitable facilities.
• A warm shower to wash off the chorine before getting dressed.
• Somewhere to feed after swimming. Again I’d heard horror stories of only having fifteen minutes to change afterwards and having to feed in the car – babies in my experience tend to be very hungry and tired after classes.

Is it important my baby goes underwater?
All of the classes we attended were child-led learning which I loved. If for any reason, our little one didn’t want to go under the water, which was part of the programme, it was never a problem. We were taught that an early underwater experience is a great way to teach our baby all important self-rescue skills. This means, should our daughter find herself falling into water she will kick up and float on her back or turn and return to safety whether that be to me, a noodle, or the side of the pool.

Amazingly, newborn babies have a very strong natural reflex that helps them not to take a breath underwater. Swimming classes use this reflex to give children an underwater experience in a safe and fun way. I have to say however, watching my baby go underwater for the first time really took my breath away. We were delighted to see that she was completely unfazed by submerging, and were encouraged by the instructor to give positive reinforcement, which resulted in big smiles all round.

In summary, we both really love our weekly half hour swimming sessions. We have so much fun together through guided learning and look forward to the coffee and cake in the café with the other mums and babies after the class. I get to feel a real sense of community and know that my baby is getting the best introduction to water play. As a bonus the underwater photographs at the end of our first term were so beautiful – great memories from this very special time in our lives.

More than physical – Five added benefits of getting your children into sport

By environment, fun for children, Health, Sport

Many of our children already partake in some form of sports, with over 90% of children between five and 16 years old consistently being involved with sport, whether this be participating in the annual school sports day or an after-school activity. But did you know there are many other added benefits to your children doing sport?

Alongside improving fitness among the young, sport can also be beneficial for the mental wellbeing and growth of your children. Here, Suso explore five ways your child can benefit from taking part in sporting activities.

Sport helps to improve mental health
The physical benefits of sport are undisputed, but did you know that sport can actually help your children improve and manage their mental health better? Children who are active tend to have a better outlook on life. They are also better at managing mental health issues including anxiety and depression. This is due to the release of endorphins during exercise.

Team sport is recognised as being the best for your child’s mental wellbeing. While children with attention difficulties might find that individual sports are more helpful, on average, team sport is the best for improving your child’s mental health.

Children will become more resilient
Making sure your children are prepared for whatever they might face in the future is a large part of your role as a parent. Encouraging them to partake in sport can actually help build resilience within your children from a young age. Children who participate in sport are better equipped to handle obstacles in the future, with sport being identified as a key factor in young children’s resilience.

Whether it is finding a tactic when the other team has an advantage, or improving play when another player gets injured, the obstacles which can occur in team sports means that children can learn and better understand flexible ways of thinking. This will also give children the chance to handle disappointment better as they develop a good sportsmanship way of thinking.

Your children will develop their skills
In fact, there are a host of skills which your child can learn through taking part in sports activities. Not only will they be resilient, but their communication skills can also be developed through team sport. Sport encourages your children to speak on many levels – not only to their peers and teammates, but also to coaches and the opposition.

Other skills your child can develop through sport include:
• Leadership
• Responsibility
• Problem solving
• Teamwork
• Co-ordination

Improvements in behaviour
The benefits don’t just apply on the playing field – you might see an improvement in your child’s behaviour both at home and in the classroom too. By participating in sport, your child will likely learn respect for others, authority figures and their peers. It has also been shown that PE can help your child learn key skills such as self-discipline and concentration which can help in the classroom significantly.

There is a boost in confidence
Finally, your children can benefit from a boost in confidence due to being active in sport programmes. Physical activity can bring about a mindfulness in your children that allows them to be ‘in the zone’. This concentration means that intrusive thoughts, such as self-doubt, are forgotten – leading your child to be more confident in their decisions.

Children who have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem tend to do better in school, at home and with friends. Whereas a child with low self-esteem might repeatedly be unsure of themselves and doubt their abilities – halting progression.

The physical benefits of sport aren’t the only advantages your child can have from partaking in football, cross country, and other physical activities. In fact, UNICEF claims that children who participate in sport and play tend to do better academically as their development and learning are enhanced. The hidden benefits of physical activity can set your child up for success in the future as they develop key skills, have confidence in themselves, and learn to regulate emotions such as disappointment and joy.

For further information please visit

There’s no ‘i’ in ‘team’!

By fun for children, Mental health, play, Relationships, Sport
by Sarah Nesbitt

It is well-known that regular exercise is beneficial for a child’s physical development. What may come as a surprise though, is learning just how useful group sports can be when it comes to developing important social skills.

Working as a team
Interacting in a group sports class will help your child to recognise the importance of working as a team and interacting not only with other children, but also with their coaches. They learn about leadership, team building and communication, all of which are important life skills that will help them in school, their future career and personal relationships.

Bringing people together
Group sports classes bring together children from various religious and cultural backgrounds, which will undoubtedly provide a valuable experience. Teammates must understand how to adapt to, and accept, each other’s cultures so they can work together. Learning how to get along with people with different personalities and of different cultures is a skill that will be needed throughout life.

Coping with wins and losses
Developing a child’s competitiveness while teaching them to both win and lose gracefully can help them learn how to tackle obstacles and accept the setbacks that life will naturally throw at them. Playing sports like football will demonstrate the fundamental lessons of winning and losing which are important for a child’s development.

New friendships
Group sports classes build a child’s confidence and regular classes allow new friendships to blossom. It’s a good idea to encourage your child to get to know their new friends with out-of-class play dates or days out. It’s also useful for new parents to build a support network of new friends in their local neighbourhood. It’s a win win for adults and children alike.

Finding a class that focuses on developing skills and encouraging everyone to have fun while keeping fit, is a great start for children less than five years of age., Tel: 020 7937 7965 Office hours 10am – 3pm daily during term-time during the holidays

learn to swim

Six reasons why you should learn to swim

By children's health, Sport, swimming
by Darren Bubb
Swim Safe Director

1. It’s great for your health
Swimming when young helps children to develop their strength, co-ordination and flexibility. It helps solidify a love of physical activity and exercise which will help them keep fit and stay fit no matter their age.

2. There are no age limits
Swimming is for EVERYONE, it doesn’t discriminate against age. From babies and children to parents and grandparents. It’s never too late to learn to swim and open up a whole form of physical activity.

3. It’s a low impact sport
Unlike other popular sports, swimming’s low impact means that you reduce the chance of injury. Which means that not only is it a great recovery and rehabilitation sport it means that you can swim well into older age.

4. Swimming lasts a lifetime
Learning to swim not only gives you a new skill. It gives you the opportunity to enjoy swimming for many years to come.

5. Great place to make friends
Swimming is a powerful way to bring people together, whilst having fun, overcoming struggles and fears. It gives your children a chance to meet people away from their classrooms and gives them a wider social circle. It’s also a great way for parents to meet other parents too.

6. Swimming could save your life
Drowning is the second-biggest cause of accidental death in children aged one to 14 years old in the country. This means that it’s vital that your child knows how to react should they find themselves in trouble in the water. Learning to swim will help your child become a strong swimmer and give them the best chance of survival should they find themselves in a difficult situation in water.

For more information please visit

holiday camps

The importance of children being active and socialising throughout the school holidays

By environment, family, fun for children, Holiday camps, Playing, Sport
by Debbie Webb,
Founder of Activ8 For Kids

The school holidays can be a time for fun and relaxation, but it’s also important to keep children engaged and active during this time. School holidays are always an exciting time for children, but it can be a challenging time for parents who still need to work. This is where holiday clubs often come in, providing children with a safe, fun environment. There are a wide range of holiday clubs available depending on the interests of the children, but with the rising cost of living, parents may wonder whether the cost of the holiday clubs are worth it and whether trying to entertain them at home is a better option. So what do we want our children to be doing during the school holidays, what will help them to develop and grow as individuals and help them later in life?

As much as your child may push against routines, children actually thrive in a routine. It gives them a sense of purpose, clear expectations and a structure to their day. Routines can help their self-esteem and ensure they feel less anxious and more comfortable. Lie in’s, chilled time in front of the TV, playing computer games and having days out are all great and bring a range of benefits, but it is also important to build in time to be active and have opportunities to socialise with others regularly.

Current recommendations from the government are for children to take part in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a day. This means their heart rate should increase, they should be out of breath and feel hot after the activity. Physical activity is essential for maintaining good health, strengthening muscles and bones, enhancing motor skills and can prevent obesity and related health problems. Ensuring your child is active every day and recognises the benefits it brings (both physically and mentally), can cultivate a lifelong habit of exercise and a healthy lifestyle. As well as keeping them healthy, being active brings so many more benefits:
• Allows children to burn off excess energy; remember school is very tiring and during the holidays they need alternative ways to channel that energy.
• Boosts confidence and promotes social skills.
• Develops and improves their fundamental movement skills of balance, co-ordination and agility.
• Improves mental wellbeing and makes them feel good about themselves. Exercise can improve their mood, enable them to experience a sense of accomplishment and can also stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural mood boosters.
• Contributes to better sleep.
• Increases self-esteem and helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
• Physical activity stimulates brain function and enhances cognitive abilities. Studies have shown that active children perform better academically and have improved attention spans. During school holidays, engaging in physical activities like sports, outdoor games or even activities that involve problem solving and critical thinking can contribute to their cognitive development.
• Engaging in different activities and exploring new places fosters creativity, stimulates imagination and curiosity and problem solving skills.

Children who get to be active everyday alongside other children will also benefit in the following ways:
• Develop new skills.
• Develop team work and leadership skills.
• Make new friends.
• Develop independence.
• Develop their social interaction skills.
• Learn how to transfer skills across activities.

Socialising with others during school holidays is crucial for children’s social development. It provides opportunities for them to practice communication, co-operation, teamwork and conflict resolution. Participating in group activities and interacting with others helps children build friendships, develop empathy and understand diverse perspectives.

Overall, children being active and socialising during school holidays is essential for their physical health, mental wellbeing, cognitive development, social skills and creativity. Parents, carers and communities should provide opportunities and support for children to engage in a variety of activities that promote physical activity.

Debbie Webb is a qualified teacher and sports coach. She runs Activ8 For Kids and has developed programmes of activity for the different ages and stages between two and sixteen years old based on the fundamental movement skills. Visit for more information.

boy biking

New Active Challenge to help families set healthy habits in 2023

By children's health, fun for children, Health, Playing, Sport

Families wanting to be more active in 2023 are invited to sign up to a new physical activity challenge, which features fun fitness activities to be completed throughout the year. The Premier Active Challenge is centred around 52 exhilarating activities – one for every week of the year. Activities require minimal equipment, are accessible and can be modified to suit children and adults of all ages.

From balloon volleyball, to scavenger hunts and a World Book Day-inspired fitness challenge, the activities are themed to the seasons and intended to get the blood pumping.

The challenge has been devised by Premier Education, the leading provider of sports clubs, curricular PE and holiday camps to primary schools. Passionate about encouraging children to lead more physically active lives, they hope the challenge will entice more families to regularly participate in physical activity in a fun, inclusive and accessible way for all.

David Batch, chief executive at Premier Education, comments: “Our Premier Active Challenge is about setting healthy habits for the year ahead. It doesn’t matter if you’re five, 55 or 105 – there are ways to participate and keep the body moving! Obviously, each activity needs to be adapted to those taking part, but if families can make a concerted effort to spend time together in an active way, they will be making an important commitment to their physical and mental health. We can’t wait to hear about everyone’s progress – and above all it’s about giving it a go and having fun!”

Each month, Premier Education will reveal the latest batch of weekly challenges, which will be published in a downloadable and printable planner to stick on the fridge.

Each new weekly challenge will begin on a Monday and participants should aim to complete each one a minimum of three times per week, putting special focus on weekends when it’s the perfect time to encourage friends and family to join in!

Participants are invited to share progress on socials using #PremierActiveChallenge. A star participator will be selected every month, with prizes including home sports equipment such as a cricket set, rugby balls and tennis racquets.

For more information about the Premier Active Challenge or to take part, visit 2023-active-challenge or see Premier Education’s social channels for details.
sporty education

The importance of sport in junior schools

By Education, Sport
by Katie Atkinson-Hunt
Deputy Head of Sport at Chinthurst School

Sport teaches children life lessons that go far beyond the physical benefits of activity. There is a growing body of research that links physical activity to improvements in educational achievement. This is down to the fact that sport helps children to develop character and learn important social and brain skills such as problem solving, resilience, perseverance, confidence and team work. But these benefits do not just happen; they come from a well devised physical activity programme that is carefully planned and delivered at school. There are certain key principles on which this should be based.

Inclusion and choice are extremely important. A school games programme should enable all children to learn new skills and techniques successfully and to choose the sport they want to play, without restriction. To truly deliver this, children’s choice should not be constrained in any way, least of all by their gender. Our games department facilitates boys and girls training alongside each other in rugby, football, netball and hockey and they play fixtures together in competitive teams. As a result of this approach, the children see themselves as equals on the pitch with no preconceived limitations and the encouragement and support they give one another on the games fields continues off it.

To help children make informed decisions about the team sport they want to play each term, taster sessions should be incorporated into several of the first sports lessons. These tasters showcase the variety of skills each sport develops and help the children to buy-in to their subsequent sports lessons. Choice is empowering. Giving children a voice and some control over their life helps to build self-esteem and confidence, both important attributes which certainly transfer to the classroom, and have an impact on their approach to life generally.

A good sports programme should foster healthy competition and teamwork. So much of what we do in life requires us to work collaboratively and for everyone to play their part no matter what their size, shape, ethnicity, or gender. This is the essence of team sports and playing in a team is empowering. Fixtures and competitions are important ways for the children to showcase their skills and are often their first real taste of competitiveness. Playing matches should not be the preserve of the gifted and talented but instead provide an opportunity for the children to have fun and build new friendships. Every fixture is an important experience for the players. Whether the team wins or loses, the children always gain something from it. They learn to play by the rules and to be the best they can be within the constraints of the game. Teamwork fosters self-belief, collective discipline and rewards hard work. A mistake or loss is often an excellent opportunity to learn and improve. The ability to be resilient and bounce back is really important in life.

Beyond the traditional school sports, there is so much more to games and PE lessons. There are a huge variety of different activities that children can become involved in. The key is to give them an opportunity to try these out. At our school we run a multi-Sport Week annually which is the highlight of the school calendar. Children have the opportunity to take part in many less well-known activities, from Ultimate Frisbee to archery and orienteering to Zumba. Inspirational speakers visit and fun challenges are set for the whole school. ‘Terrific Tuesdays’ and ‘Funky Fridays’ in the last week of each term continue the emphasis on variety giving the children a chance to play games like capture the flag, squares and a range of different dances. Some children go on to pursue these activities further in after-school clubs or outside school. All find it motivating and are excited to do more.

We must not forget that having fun is the most important thing about any successful sports programme. Through sport everyone can experience fantastic moments that they remember forever. There are huge psychological benefits to laughing and smiling so sport should be a positive experience for all the children. It’s a moment for them to be free of the classroom, express themselves in a new way and gain confidence in something that might normally really challenge them.

Within games and PE lessons it is important to create fun and challenging activities which stretch the more able but support the less confident. To achieve this, we now base every lesson around ‘game play’. This involves having a ‘game play’ area and a ‘skill zone’. The skill zone is a small, very structured place where we help develop specific skills or stretch children’s techniques and knowledge. Whilst some children are in a skill zone, the rest are continuing in the game play area, practising playing a game situation and creating rules, superpowers and learning how to play as a team. At the end of the lesson, the children will play a match where we encompass all the skills/game play activities into a real-life match using the exact rules of the specific sport.

Sports days, house competitions and fun swimming galas are great ways to give children the chance to have fun competing alongside different age groups for their house or to represent different groups in the school. They are also brilliant ways to foster community spirit, a sense of identity and feeling of belonging.


Katie Atkinson-Hunt is Deputy Head of Sport at Chinthurst School in Tadworth. The school have been named 2022 Independent School of the Year for Sporting Achievement in recognition of their pioneering sports programme.


swim safely

Water safety a little preparation can make a big difference

By Safety, Sport, swimming
by Tara Highway
Swimming Squidz

As summer arrives offering the chance for long lazy days on the beach or at the lido and with the possibility of paddling pools or swimming pools in the garden, not forgetting the flurry of ‘summer’s here’ excitement everywhere, we need to be sure we are not ‘throwing safety to the wind’.

Water safety needs to be at the forefront of our minds at all times, but especially over the summer months.

A recent survey carried out by the Drowning Prevention Charity, Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), showed that 1 in 10 people had almost drowned at some point in their lives and that 13% of people knew someone who had drowned.

During the period of May through to August, the number of drownings increase hugely, and between the UK and Ireland, there are on average 402 drownings a year. Children and young people aged under 19 accounted for 57 deaths – 19 were under 10 years old. Worldwide the (conservative) figure of deaths by drowning is estimated to be 235,000 every year!

The importance of water safety cannot be expressed strongly enough. It is one of the most imperative things for a child to learn and they should be taught as early as possible. They need to be aware of how to help themselves, be aware of the dangers around them and what they can do to help someone else in an emergency.

So, what can we do to help our children in and around water?
Swimming lessons from as early as possible is a great start. An early introduction to the water can teach them how to help themselves – from blowing bubbles and breathing to rolling onto their back so that they can breathe. We need to help them recognise dangers and how to stay safe by being able to climb in and out of the water safely on both a solid or potentially wobbly surface. We can teach them how to rescue another person by using equipment around them and checking for dangers nearby, and how to stay low themselves to pull someone out of water ensuring they are well grounded and less likely to be pulled in too!

Understanding survival techniques and knowing how to put them into practice is also an invaluable skill. For example, how to be able to control the situation if they were to fall into an icy lake and how to guide themselves out. This understanding is invaluable and could one day be the difference between life and death.

We also all need to know about the dangers of ‘Cold Water Shock’. CWS causes the blood vessels in the skin to close, creating a resistance in blood flow, causing the heart to work harder. Blood pressure increases and the potential for a heart attack increases too – even in the young and healthy. It is not that commonly known about although with the increase in open water swimming since the pandemic, it has become far more highlighted. These are just a few things we need to teach our children about how to be safe in and around water.

On your family fun days around the pool or at the beach there are simple things you can put in place and believe it or not, these can be as simple as the colour of your swimming costumes! For example, both blue and white swimming costumes become all but ‘invisible’ in the water, so if you are in trouble it is far more difficult for your rescuer to see you and help you. If you are in a brightly coloured swimming kit (neon orange and pink for example) you are instantly more noticeable. MAKE YOURSELF VISIBLE.

When setting up at the beach ensure you have plenty of shade and plenty of drinking water and try to be in sight of the lifeguards.

Observe any lifeguard flags that have been put in place and know what they mean.

Red = NO swimming, red and yellow = lifeguard on duty, swim between the flags, yellow = seek advice, green = safe to swim, black and white = surfing area, NO swimming and white and blue = diving in progress.

Be aware of the tides and learn about rip tides in the area. Rip tides are long narrow bands of water that flow quickly away from the shore and are extremely dangerous. The sea might seem a calm but rip tides, which form in waves, quickly pull a swimmer away from the shore.

Ask the lifeguards for waterproof wristbands which you can write your contact details on and place on the wrist of each of your children so that, if you become separated at the beach, you can be contacted.

Remember, at the beach we can call 999 for lifeboat and the Coastguard.

Throughout my teaching career, I’m aware of at least two situations where children who I teach have been out with their parents and they had known exactly what to do in a hazardous situation. Firstly, a little three year old boy went fishing with his father in October and he fell, fully clothed, into the river. He knew straight away to roll onto his back and float – he hated back floating in class and often refused to do it – but when it counted he knew what to do until his father got him to safety. Secondly, whilst on holiday a six year old girl saw her younger brother slip on the step of the pool and fall under the water but she managed to get him out safely without causing any danger to herself!

Keep yourself and your little ones safe and aware of all the dangers in and around the water – a little preparation can make a big difference. Hoping you have a fun summer and enjoy the water safely.

Swimming Squidz, is a family run business teaching babies and children up to the age of 11 to love the water while staying safe.

sun safety

Are children more susceptible to the sun in water?

By Playing, Safety, Sport, sun safety, swimming

How to keep them safe, according to an expert

As summer rolls around, parents love seeing their children soak up the sunshine; after all, it finally tears them away from their screens. Although, this does give rise to one prominent concern: sun safety. Children’s skin is notoriously susceptible to the sun and, according to experts, they’re even more vulnerable in the water – is this true and, most importantly, how can we keep them safe?

Children’s skin is more vulnerable because its natural defence mechanisms aren’t fully developed, meaning a staggering 80% of total lifetime sun exposure takes place before the age of 18. Ultimately, children are at a higher risk of sun and eye damage resulting from UV rays, whilst being in the water enhances these risks. Why? Firstly, water has an obvious cooling effect; as your children have fun in the sea or swimming pool, they won’t feel like they’re burning. Meanwhile, reflective surfaces (e.g., pool tiles, inflatables) can amplify UV rays. If your child is set to be in the water, you must understand how you can keep them safe.

Thankfully, we have an ideal expert on hand to help ensure that children stay safe in the sun – and water – this summer. Danny Anderson is the owner of Aqua Splash, a business comprising of two incredible, water-based assault courses in Essex. As Danny welcomes thousands of excited children to this water-based activity every year, he is uniquely familiar with the risks that sun exposure can pose, including the proactive steps we can take.

To help you stay on the right track, he’s sharing his top tips:

1. Always remember to ‘use an ounce before leaving the house’.
A helpful rule of thumb when it comes to using sun cream is ‘Use an ounce before leaving the house’. By using this quantity (roughly), and allowing it to soak in for 30 minutes before going outside, you’ll be laying the right foundations. Most people reportedly use less than half this amount, as they severely underestimate how much sun cream is needed; make sure your little one is thoroughly covered.

2. Re-apply every two hours (minimum).
Whilst your children might not be happy to leave the pool and reapply their sun cream, it’s incredibly important that they do. As a minimum, you should re-apply every two hours; if your child is climbing inflatables or going down flumes, re-applying even more regularly is ideal.

3. Never go below SPF 30.
Arguably the most important thing to get right when it comes to skin protection is the SPF factor behind the sun cream you’re using; if this isn’t sufficient, it simply won’t fulfil its purpose.

When choosing sun cream for your children, always opt for SPF 30+ at the very least; if you can find a higher SPF, do! The higher the factor, the better protection your cream will provide.

4. Don’t forget the cream’s UVA rating.
Although your sun cream’s SPF factor is vital, it’s not the only important thing you ought to consider. Beyond this, it’s also crucial that you evaluate its UVA rating; more specifically, that you ensure the cream’s UVA rating is 4 or 5 stars – any less and you simply can’t rely
on its resilience.

Thankfully, creams with strong UVA ratings aren’t difficult to find. Almost all of the biggest brands on today’s market, including Nivea for example, boast 5-star UVA-rated creams – if you do your homework, you can find the perfect cream for you.

5. Consider hats and T-shirts.
As children are particularly vulnerable to sun damage, consider having yours wear hats and t-shirts whilst they play in the water. This way, you won’t need to worry about them burning, especially in the areas which are most susceptible (their shoulders and hair line).

Enjoying the sun without encountering any damage is possible, even when you’re excitedly climbing water-based inflatables! You just need to understand how much sun cream you should be applying and how regularly you ought to be re-applying, whilst considering the components of the cream itself.

For more information about Aqua Splash, visit


Sports is so much more than just sports

By Education, fun for children, Mental health, Playing, Sport
by Jenny Spires
Brighton Girls

As we emerge from the pandemic, the focus in schools is very much on providing children with as many opportunities to play the sports they have missed out on and rekindle social skills and friendships that may have waned during lockdown.

Sounds fun, right? Well, yes, but it’s so much more than that – encouraging pupils to participate in sport is now known to play a crucial role in building a child’s confidence and emboldening them to be risk-takers, which underpins all that they do now and in later life.

Many studies have shown solid links between sport participation and the development of strong self-esteem and self-belief. An analysis in The Sport Journal, a peer-reviewed title published by the US Sports Academy, showed that taking part in sport before university was directly related to higher self-esteem and these findings are echoed across the world in various research projects that show a relationship between sport and better wellbeing, happiness and lower anxiety levels.

So, let’s break that down. What is it about participation in both individual and team sports that fosters this personal development?

Handling mistakes
No one gets good at a skill or sport without making a lot of mistakes along the way. A child quickly learns that mis-steps and hurdles are a vital part of their journey to becoming a better footballer, tennis player, swimmer, runner, cyclist or anything else – and realises that nothing terrible happens when they make those mistakes. This flowering of a resilient attitude and an acceptance that mistakes don’t equal failure is a hugely important life skill which leads to bolder risk-taking (and potentially greater rewards) in life. Making mistakes and having the self-esteem to know that those mistakes are not a reflection on your ability but simply a necessary experience on your journey is a priceless attribute.

Dealing with stress Children have faced more stress than we could have ever imagined in the last year or so and have had to find ways of coping with it. We know that the demands of playing for a team or striving for personal success in an individual sport require channeling all your thoughts and energies into the moment which frees the mind temporarily from ongoing stress. To develop the ability to switch off daily concerns and focus on your sport teaches the mind that this is possible, that you can control your stress levels and put them aside.

Understanding the link between practise and success
Children sometimes need reminding that success is, of course, related to effort and sports and skill-building are constant reminders of this. As children continue to commit to turning up for team practice, going out in the rain to try and beat their PB or heading off down the skatepark again to perfect that ollie, the realisation solidifies that they and they alone control their chances of success. When they see improvement, they know it was brought about by their own hard work. That knowledge brings confidence in their own ability every time they turn out to play.

This applies to the rest of their lives outside of sport. When you have self-confidence based on hard work, even when you don’t succeed, you can keep morale high. You understand the causal link between your ability to put work in and improve.

Unlike a child’s handpicked friendships group, a sports team is made up of all sorts of different characters who your child may not have naturally befriended. Yet, sharing a common goal (to get better and win) unites those children and social skills are forged. This ability to rub along with everyone is a wonderful confidence builder (“if I can do it in sport, I can do it everywhere else in my life too.”)

Winning and losing and a healthy mindset
Great sportsmen and women have learnt how to avoid their self-esteem being dented by losing. It isn’t easy to do this as often confidence takes a knock after below-par performances. But being surrounded by like-minded players and coaches who offer continued support and encouragement really helps and drives players of all ages to improve and keep trying. They learn that losing is only a driver to keep going and strive for better – and what better life lesson could any child learn?

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