Learning how to swim and being safe around water are important lessons many New Zealand children learn early on.

And it seems a large number of Kiwi fathers are making swim-time with their babies are high priority.

Figures from a survey commissioned by Huggies Little Swimmers Swimpants found 37 per cent of swim-time with children aged under 3 involved fathers. The balance involved mainly mothers.

WaterSafe Auckland (WAI) said the statistics showed teaching water safety to youngsters was important to both mothers and fathers.

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Plunket spokeswoman Sue Campbell said: "It demonstrates a good level of awareness of the importance of water familiarisation and safety for families with littlies.

"Swim-time is a wonderful opportunity for dads to interact with their children. Plus there is added value of time together - fun, discovery and social interaction.''

A number of dads turned out with their babies at the Cameron Pool and Leisure Centre, in Mt Roskill, yesterday.

Among those was Auckland man Lucas Forsman and 14-month-old daughter Riley (pictured), who smiled as she enjoyed a splash with her dad.