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‘Water Babies lessons worth their weight in gold’ Posted On 16 July 2021

Mum’s relief after 5-year-old’s reaction to falling into pond


The value of swimming lessons for pre-school children was underlined this week by a Buckinghamshire family who were stunned by their young son’s reaction when he fell into a local pond.

Five-year-old Joshua Poulton de Sebestyen, from Weston Turville, was on a family outing when he slipped into the water from a bridge

However, tragedy was averted when the youngster’s survival instincts kicked in before his parents had time to react, and he got himself to the bank where the rescue was completed by his relieved dad Tim and mum Claire, who had been nursing his six-week-old brother, Zach.

And Claire told The Bucks Herald that things could have been a lot worse had Joshua not learned to swim at his local Water Babies swimming class at Booker Park School in Aylesbury.

She is reported to have said: “It goes without saying that things could have gone completely different had Joshua not had the training or known how to put it into practise.

“We were both so proud to see how he responded – he was so composed. He graduated from his Water Babies lessons just a few weeks ago, but Zach will be starting lessons in August. Joshua taking a tumble really solidified it for us – confidence around the water is non-negotiable for our two children.”

Figures from the National Water Safety Forum show more than 60 children drown in the UK every summer, and Joshua’s story is a timely warning with an expected rise in temperatures and school holidays just around the corner.

When he fell, soon after a warning the bridge might be slippery, he trod water until he reached the bank and Claire said: “He’d learned how to do that at Water Babies, and it proved to us both that the weekly swimming sessions were worth their weight in gold.

“Remarkably, Josh hadn’t been able to take part in a Water Babies lesson for quite some time because of COVID restrictions, but thankfully he’d managed to retain the training and put it into practise when it mattered most.”

Tamsin Brewis, the owner of Water Babies Bucks and Beds, told the newspaper: “Whilst our sessions are a lot of fun, our entire programme is built around equipping our little swimmers with the skills they need to feel confident in and around the water.”

For more information on Water Babies, go to waterbabies.co.uk/lp/baby-swimming/bucks-and-beds

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