•  Remember swim lessons cannot drown proof a child or reduce the need for adult supervision but participation in formal swimming lessons has been found to reduce the risk of drowning by 88%


  • Enroll children including very young children in water survival swim lessons.  Swim lessons should emphasize water safety, should be taught by qualified instructors and should be taught in a warm  and nurturing manner. Class sizes should be small


  • Water safety for young children includes learning to roll over and float and to make a safe entry and exit, learning how to tread water and how to hold their breath


  • Make sure that everyone  knows how to float. Many kids who can swim are unable to float but floating on the back means the child is visible and can breathe


  • Don’t believe that knowing how to doggy paddle is okay.  It is not an effective stroke and is inefficient and tiring


  • No swim lessons can drown-proof a child. No child is completely water safe


  • Older children and adults should learn to swim well enough to meet the American Red Cross standards for water competency and be able to:

  1. Step or jump into water over the head

  2. Return to the surface and float or tread water for one minute  

  3. Turn around in a full circle and find an exit

  4. Swim 25 yards to the exit

  5. Exit from the water.  If in a pool be able to exit without using a ladder

  • According to the Red Cross, 54% of all Americans fail to meet the standards. Only 40% of parents of children 4 - 17 report that their child can perform all  5 basic swimming skills

Any questions or if you have additional information you think could be helpful to this page or drowning prevention in general, please do not hesitate to contact the Swim On Foundation.