Olympic Swimmer Rebecca Adlington on becoming a new mother and impact of lockdown on her children

Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington says she echoes concerns from new research which suggests that lockdown has had a huge impact on children.

She says restrictions such as not being able to go to school, has had an impact on her five year old daughter's confidence.

New research from Busy Bees has shown that more than 7 in 10 parents are concerned about the effect lockdowns may have had on their children's social development.

The medalist from Mansfield, who just had her second child 7 weeks ago, told ITV News Central she has seen a huge change in her daughter's behaviour since she went back to school.

The Mansfield born swimmer has two children with her husband. Her 5 year old daughter Summer, and 7 week old Albie. Credit: Rebecca Adlington

"She was so happy to go back to school," says Becky. "She now runs into school and is able to be with her friends which is absolutely lovely."

Rebecca says she thinks this was due to the fact that she had no one her age to compare herself to. "Her confidence lacked a little bit there," she said. "Now she's back at school she knows she is doing well!"

Research from Busy Bees found out of 2000 parents surveyed with children under the age of 8, 3 in 10 parents say their child simply isn't as happy as they previously were before the pandemic.

More than one in five children were nervous about seeing friends again and were more reluctant to join in with playtimes. While 23 per cent think they are less playful.

Rebecca won two gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and two bronze medals at London 2012. Credit: PA

Rebecca does think that some children will struggle with separation anxiety and with the return to normality. "But there will be some kids that will absolutely thrive going back into this environment," she admits.

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