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One fifth of parents 'do not let child swim in sea'

One in five parents have banned their child from swimming in the sea because they worry about their safety, a poll has found.

Swimming in open water presents a different set of challenges than swimming in a 25m pool. Credit: PA

The study by Amatuer Swimming Association found less than a third of parents say they are completely happy to let their children swim in the sea.

One in five wont let their children into the waves at all because they feel its too dangerous.

Nearly a third of parents say that they will only let their children swim in the sea if they go with them.

Michael Phelps coming out of retirement

Phelps is the most decorated athlete in Olympic history. Credit: Marcelo Regua/DPA

Michael Phelps, the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, is coming out of retirement amid speculation he will aim to compete at the 2016 Rio Games.

USA Swimming said the 29-year-old will compete for the first time since London 2012 later this month at a meet in Mesa, Arizona.

Phelps, who has 22 Olympic medals including 18 gold, returned to training last autumn and has completed the six-month waiting period to be eligible for competition by the US Anti-Doping Agency.


Rebecca Adlington won string of Olympic medals

Rebecca Adlington found fame in the Beijing Olympics where she won two gold medals, and at last year's London 2012 Games she took home two bronze medals.

At the beginning of the year she announced her retirement from the sport to pursue a career in broadcasting.

Adlington 'so relieved' after Olympic medals found

Swimming star Rebecca Adlington said she is "so relieved" after her Olympic medals were found following a break-in at her home.


Olympian learned to swim because his 'dad couldn't'

Former six times world champion swimmer Mark Foster has told Daybreak he learnt to swim because his father was "petrified of water".

He said: "It was safety reasons, first and foremost. My father at the age of 11 got thrown in the lake and was petrified of water, [he] still can't swim."

He added: "I think if you are a family, sitting round a poolside, constantly looking over your shoulder, how do you relax when you know your child can't swim and how does your child enjoy itself?"

Parents 'have a role to play' to encourage kids to swim

Jon Glenn from the Amateur Swimming Association said "parents have a role to play as well" as the schools, when encouraging children to learn to swim.

He said: "If families do not swim, it is unlikely that you will take your families swimming as well because you feel uncomfortable, nervous in and around the water, so starting at an early age is really important.

"Once they've learnt those basic skills once you get to school and you have those lessons you can really pick up the strokes a lot quicker."

ASA: Every child 'should have the right to swim'

David Sparkes, Chief Executive of the Amateur Swimming Association has said every child should have the right to swim. He said:

Every child should have the right and opportunity to learn to swim to help achieve a fitter, healthier and perhaps above all a safer generation of young people.

I am delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge supports this vision and has provided support to our campaign.

Half of children aged 7 to 11 cannot swim 25 metres

The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) has joined forces with the Duke of Cambridge to make swimming more accessible for children at primary schools. A report from the Association found:

  • Half of children aged between 7 and 11 cannot swim the length of a typical swimming pool (25 metres) unaided, despite swimming being a compulsory element of the national curriculum
  • This means 1.1 million children are unable to be safe in and around water

Source: The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA)

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