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.


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.