A Third Of Mums Suffer Pool Panic


One in three mums suffer ‘pool panic’ at the thought of donning a bikini and getting into the water with their kids, it emerged yesterday.

A detailed study found a large percentage of insecure mothers will do their utmost to cover-up as the nation basks in this year’s second balmy heat-wave. Many went as far as to say they felt ‘judged’ when they put on a
swimwear in public, while others described feeling ‘awkward’.

And overall, three quarters of the nation’s mothers ‘lack the confidence’ to wear a bikini.

The worrying statistics emerged following a report carried out by leisure chain Everyone Active to learn why an increasing number of young  children are unable to swim. Yesterday, a spokeswoman said ‘pool panic’ could mean thousands of children are missing out on vital time in the water to help build their confidence.

Olympic double gold medallist Becky Adlington, who is backing the Everyone Active School Swim project: “It is such a shame seeing these statistics. As a woman I understand it, but more needs to be done to help and encourage women to feel more confident.”

Over half of mothers admit they have been put off teaching their child to swim  because of a fear of being seen in a bathing suit. A further 38% said they have avoided all water-related activities with their kids because they involve being in swimwear.

Sadly, the lack of confidence has left one in three delegating swimming duties to their other half. Well that’s all very well, but not everybody has one! It also emerged that 40% of the mums questioned admitted they don’t feel happy getting into the water and more than a quarter said they can’t remember the last time they went for a swim. The knock on effect left 38% of those surveyed expressing concerns that their child lacks confidence in the water.

It also emerged women don’t start to accept their bodies and feel happy in their swimwear until they reach 27 – although 79% said they still don’t feel comfortable being naked in a public changing room.

The survey of 1,000 mothers across the UK also found that only 31% remember their own mother being confident in swimwear. So maybe it’s time we started leading by example.

  • In the wake of the study, Everyone Active is to launch women only swimming lessons to encourage women and mothers to feel comfortable and confident while swimming. To find out more, see www.everyoneactive.com



Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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