A hardworking teacher who has helped countless Luton children learn how to swim has won an award in recognition of her efforts.
Businesswoman, Tamsin Brewis, recently won the title of Female Franchisee of the Year at the British Franchise Association HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards 2017, held in Birmingham.
Tamsin, who runs Water Babies, its head office in Banbury, provides baby and toddler swimming lessons, and since 2004 the business has grown across Bedfordshire.
Tamsin also helped to raise awareness for June’s Drowning Prevention Week.
Tamsin, 55, said: “I’m stunned and so pleased. I honestly couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, friends and most importantly, my team – it’s a huge win for all of us and I’m really glad to see that we are being recognised by the industry at this prestigious event.
“I’ve been teaching Water Babies classes in Luton area for many years, and being able to give back to the community is incredibly important. I’ve now put a safety guide together so the families of Luton can stay safe, and above all else, have fun in the water.
“Alerting parents to the risks their children face around open water is a subject I feel strongly about, especially with the summer holidays coming up. Drowning is still the third highest cause of death to children aged five and under so it’s important that all families have an awareness.”
Drowning prevention: protect your little ones this summer: Tamsin’s top tips to stay safe
Staying safe at home
It isn’t just open pools and lakes which put children at risk. Drowning can happen in as little as 2cm of water, so always supervise your children near water. This includes paddling pools, ponds, puddles, baths and even buckets of water.
Empty paddling pools straight after use and turn it upside down.
Children should never be left unsupervised in the bath. If the phone rings or someone is at the door, take the child with you, or leave the phone to ring.
Always use self-closing gates, fences and locks to prevent children from gaining access to pools of water and securely cover all water storage tanks and drains.
Staying safe at the beach
Avoid beaches without lifeguards – it’s just not worth the risk. Most beaches display information and warning signs about the conditions of the sea and the times of low and high tides – learning what these signs mean in advance could make all the difference.
Swim together, it’s more fun! But if your little one is swimming with older children, encourage them to swim in threes. If the worst should happen, one could stay with the child in danger, whilst the other went for help.
Never let children use novelty floats in open water, as it’s very easy to get swept away in a strong current in the sea.
Never let children swim underneath piers, near coral, or jump from rocks. It’s best to lead by example, so avoid these areas of the beach altogether.
Swim along the beach shore, and never away from the beach. Keep your child with you in the sea at all times, and never let them walk to and from the sea unsupervised.
Staying safe on holiday
The temptation for one or two afternoon cocktails on holiday is strong but try to limit the drinks until after the kid’s bedtime. Alternatively, if you’re in a group and there are other adults who can supervise the children, take it in turns to have a drink of an evening so that there’s always a completely sober member of the group.
Although this may sound a little obvious, always make sure children are supervised by an adult who can swim. It’s important that the person in charge is well equipped to deal with an emergency!
Remember that floors can become slippery when children are in and out of the pool, so place mats or towels on the floor to avoid any accidents.
Taking a paddling pool on holiday and setting it up in the shade for little ones is a great idea, as it means small children spend as little time as possible in the sun.
A t-shirt is not a substitute for a sun suit - all sun suits should have a SPF factor in them. Encourage young children to wear a sun suit and a hat in and around the pool and at the beach.
Novelty pool floats are great fun, but make sure children aren’t using them unsupervised; they’re toys, not life-saving floatation devices.
If you are abroad, make sure you understand the local warning signs and save local emergency contact numbers in your phone.
Check the water flow and layout of pools and always look out for the nearest lifeguard; shallow water pools aren’t any less of a risk.
Search: www.waterbabies.co.uk for a class near you.