Swimming & Water Safety Program

Swimming & Water Safety Program

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The American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Program features three levels of Preschool Aquatics and six levels of Learn-to-Swim instruction to help swimmers of all ages and abilities develop their swimming and water safety skills. It is designed to give students a positive learning experience. American Red Cross Preschool Aquatics and Learn-to-Swim teaches aquatic and safety skills in a logical progression. The objective is to teach people to swim and to be safe in, on and around the water.
Skills are categorized in the following way:

  • Water Entry and Exit
  • Breath Control and Underwater Swimming
  • Buoyancy
  • Changing Direction and Position
  • Treading
  • Swimming on Front, Back and Side
  • General and Personal Water Safety
  • Helping Others

Not every level includes skills in all categories. Nor is it necessary to introduce the skills in the order of categories listed above. It is very important, however, to introduce safety skills in the first lesson of each level, so participants are aware of what they can do to be safe around the water.

Students are first oriented to the aquatic environment and gain some basic skills in each category. At later levels, students build on their basic skills to learn propulsive movements on the front, back and side. They learn different strokes at various levels and then refine them at later levels. Personal safety and rescue skills are included to help students meet safety goals. By the end of Learn-to-Swim Level 6, students have all the prerequisite skills and have developed the necessary fitness level for entrance into the American Red Cross Lifeguard Training and Water Safety Instructor Courses. The following are brief descriptions of the purpose of each of the Red Cross Preschool Aquatics and Learn-to-Swim classes:

Preschool Aquatics Level 1 - To orient preschool-age children to the aquatic environment and to help them acquire rudimentary levels of basic aquatic skills.
Preschool Aquatics Level 2 - To build on the basic aquatic skills learned in Preschool Aquatics Level 1.
Preschool Aquatics Level 3 - To increase proficiency and build on the basic aquatic skills learned in Levels 1 and 2 by providing additional guided practice with increased distances and times.
Learn-to-Swim Level 1 - Introduction to Water Skills. To begin developing positive attitudes, good swimming habits and safe practices in and around water.
Learn-to-Swim Level 2 - Fundamental Aquatic Skills. To give participants success with fundamental skills, including learnng how to float without support and to recover to a vertical position.
Learn-to-Swim Level 3 - Stroke Development. To build on skills in Learn-to-Swim Level 2 by providing guided practie in deeper water.
Learn-to-Swim Level 4 - Stroke Improvement. To develop participants' confidence in the strokes learned in Learn-to-Swim Level 3 and to improve other aquatic skills.
Learn-to-Swim Level 5 - Stroke Refinement. To further learn how to coordinate and refine skills,
Learn-to-Swim Level 6 - Swimming and Skill Proficiency. Refines the strokes so students swim them with ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over greater distances. Learn-to-Swim Level 6 is designed with "menu" options. Each of these options focus on preparing students to participate in more advance courses, such as Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard Training. These options include:

  • Fundamentals of Diving - 6A
  • Fitness Swimmer - 6B
  • Personal Water Safety - 6C