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Water Safety for Babies

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Drowning is a leading cause of injury- related death in children. In 2006, fatal drowning claimed the lives of approximately 1100 US children younger than 20 years.” 1 We teach three highly effective safety techniques in the Baby Swim program because we believe they can save lives.


Sit, Listen, and Wait with Safe Entry

All programs practice our safety skill: Sit, Listen, and Wait with Safe Entry. This skill is enforced every time a student enters the pool, without exception.

Each Baby Swim class begins with the swimmer’s parent/caregiver placing them on the side of the pool and asking them to wait while the parent/caregiver enters the water. Once the swimmer has shown that they can wait to enter the water, the parent/caregiver can invite them to enter safely. The wait time will vary based on the swimmer and the level.

Safe Entry teaches swimmers to roll to their tummy and enter the water feet-first while they hang on the wall with their hands and their head above the water.

These two skills alone can save lives. Advanced self-rescue techniques, while helpful, should not be necessary if a swimmer practices the Sit, Listen, and Wait technique.

Every single second makes a difference. If your swimmer were to enter the pool unsupervised, we hope they would hang on the wall after a Safe Entry, not be struggling in the middle of the pool. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of practicing and reinforcing these techniques during your swimming experiences outside of our swim school.

Survival Turnaround Sequence

The second safety skill introduced in Baby Swim is the Survival Turnaround Sequence. This skill teaches your swimmer how to enter the pool, turnaround, and swim safely, confidently, and effortlessly back to the wall.

Roll-to-Back Safety Sequence

The final safety skill learned in Baby Swim III teaches toddlers, through a progression of skills, how to jump into the pool, roll to their back to breathe, and kick on their back safely to the side of the pool.

Please remember that swimming skills are simply one potential prevention strategy and swimming lessons do not “drown-proof” children.2 Children MUST have constant adult supervision around water at all times. Parents/caregivers should also be properly trained in CPR and ensure that proper pool barriers are in place.1

  1. Weiss, J., Gardner, H. G., Baum, C. R., Dowd, M. D., Durbin, D. R., Ebel, B. E., ... & Scholer, S. J. (2010). Policy statement-prevention of drowning. Pediatrics, 126(1) , 178 -18 5
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2010, May 24). AAP Gives Updated Advice on Drowning Prevention. Retrieved from Updated-Advice-on-Drowning-Prevention.aspx