We teach all we can to love & respect the water. We focus on safety throughout the classes; teaching swimmers the most efficient way to move through water.

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We are pleased to provide Red Cross Authorized Providers/Licensed Training Providers with the descriptions of the courses and presentations that will be available with the release of the 2014 Swimming and Water Safety program in Spring 2014.

General Course Descriptions

The American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety program teaches people how to be safe in, on or around water and to teach individuals of different ages and abilities how to swim. In a logical progression, the program covers the knowledge and skills needed for aquatic skill development. As participants develop these skills, they will become safer and better swimmers.

The Swimming and Water Safety program is made up of the following courses and presentations:

Water Safety Instructor: The purpose of the Water Safety Instructor course is to train instructor candidates to teach Parent and Child Aquatics, Preschool Aquatics, Learn-to- Swim, Adult Swim and water safety courses and presentations. Water Safety instructor candidates must be 16 years old on or before the last scheduled day of the Water Safety Instructor course.

There will be two delivery methods available for the Water Safety Instructor course— blended learning (preferred) and instructor led. The estimated course lengths for each delivery method are estimated and subject to change:

  • Blended Learning Delivery Method: Estimated 25 hours; online content—7 hours
  • Instructor Led Delivery Method: Estimated length—31 hours

Parent and Child Aquatics (2 levels): The purpose of Parent and Child Aquatics is to teach safe behaviors around the water and develop swimming readiness by leading parents and their children in water exploration activities with the objective of having fun and becoming comfortable in, on and around water.

Preschool Aquatics (3 levels): Preschool Aquatics aims to promote the developmentally appropriate learning of fundamental water safety and aquatic skills by young children. Red Cross Preschool Aquatics teaches aquatic and safety skills in a logical progression through three levels of courses.

Learn-to-Swim (6 levels): Red Cross Learn-to-Swim consists of six comprehensive levels that teach people of varying ages and abilities how to swim skillfully and safely. Each level includes training in basic water safety. All aquatic and safety skills are taught in a logical progression. The objective is to teach people to swim and to be safe in, on and around the water. The six levels include:

Level 1: Introduction to Water Skills
Level 2: Fundamental Aquatic Skills
Level 3: Stroke Development
Level 4: Stroke Improvement
Level 5: Stroke Refinement
Level 6: Swimming and Skill Proficiency

  • Personal Water Safety
  • Fundamentals of Diving
  • Fitness Swimmer

Adult Swim: These courses are intended for teens and adults at different levels of swimming ability. The following courses are available:

Learning the Basics can help teens or adults overcome their fear of the water and to learn the basic skills to achieve a minimum level of water competency. In this course, participants strive for skill and stroke performance as indicated in the Learn-to- Swim Level 3 outline and performance charts.

Learning and Refining Swim Strokes is for teens or adults who want to improve their foundational skills and swimming strokes to gain an overall level of comfort in the water, to be able to enjoy the water more safely with their children, because they own a home pool or to open the door to training for other aquatic opportunities, such as to learn SCUBA. The Adult Swim—Improving Skills and Swimming Strokes strive for skill and stroke performance as indicated in the Learn-to-Swim Level 5 outline and performance charts.

Fitness Swimming is for adults who swim for fitness want to learn to refine their strokes for a variety of reasons. Some may want to use the benefits of the water to improve their fitness levels, while others may want to participate in a masters swimming program or other competitive sports, such as, triathlons or open water distance swimming. The Adult Swim—Swimming for Fitness strive for stroke performance as indicated in the LTS Level 6 performance charts.

Any course in the American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim program can be offered as a private lesson.

Longfellow’s WHALE Tales: This dry-land water safety program is intended for children ages 5 through 12. It includes information on the following topics:

  • Be Cool, Follow the Rules
  • Don’t Just Pack It, Wear Your Jacket
  • Swim as a Pair Near a Lifeguard’s Chair o Look Before You Leap
  • Think, So You Don’t Sink
  • Reach or Throw, Don’t Go
  • Think Twice Before Going Near Cold Water or Ice
  • Know About Boating Before You Go Floating
  • Too Much Sun Is No Fun
  • In Your House and In Your Yard, Watch for Water, Be on Guard
  • Wave, Tide or Ride, Follow the Guide

Water safety presentations: The Swimming and Water Safety program includes water safety presentations to help teach people learn to be safe in, on and around the water. Certificates are not issued for these presentations:

General Water Safety: This 30-minute presentation provides individuals with an awareness of the importance of water safety training and key information on being safe in, on and around water. General Water Safety is intended for individuals who want to learn about the importance of water safety and how to be safe in, on and around water.

Home Pool Safety: This 30-minute presentation provides information for home pool owners and apartment pool users on how to keep their family and guests safe in an aquatic environment. Home Pool Safety is intended for home pool owners and apartment pool users.

Parent Orientation to Swim Lessons: This 30-minute presentation provides an orientation for parents to American Red Cross swim lessons offered at local aquatic facilities. Parent Orientation to Swim Lessons is intended for parents of young children enrolled in Red Cross swim lessons for the first time.

Sun Safety: This 30-minute presentation teaches participants the dangers of too much exposure to direct sunlight. Participants learn how to protect themselves and others when enjoying activities in the sun. Sun Safety is intended for any general audience who enjoys outdoor activities.

Rip Current Safety: This 30-minute presentation provides individuals with an awareness of the dangers of rip currents. Participants learn how to recognize rip currents, how to avoid them and what to if caught in one. Rip current safety is intended for families and individuals interested in learning about or who spend time at surf beaches.

Our Water Safety instructors are eligible to teach the following certification courses:

Water Safety Today: This 2-hour course teaches participants how to recognize, prevent and respond to emergencies in, on and around the water. Successful completion of this course results in a certificate of completion that has no validity period. Water Safety Today is intended for anyone with an interest in learning water safety knowledge and skills.

Basic Water Rescue: This 4-hour certification course that provides participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies. It also prepares participants for aquatic emergencies by teaching them how to protect themselves while assisting others. Basic Water Rescue does not provide participants with all the knowledge and skills needed to be certified as a lifeguard. Basic Water Rescue is intended for public safety personnel, camp personnel and day trip leaders, daycare workers, school teachers, aquatic fitness instructors, aquatic therapists, anyone involved in aquatic activities and others who work around water.

Personal Water Safety: This 5-hour course builds on basic swimming and safety skills and provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to help avoid aquatic emergencies. Participants learn survival and self-rescue techniques. It provides basic information on safety in natural water environments and boating and personal water craft. Successful completion of this course results in a certificate of completion that has no validity period. Personal Water Safety is intended for individuals who participate in aquatic activities and want to improve their water safety and survival skills.

Safety Training for Swim Coaches: Developed in collaboration with USA Swimming, this course is designed to teach those involved in competitive swimming how to help maintain a comfortable and safe environment for swimmers, prevent accidents and emergencies, and respond to swimmers with illnesses or injuries in water or on land. Participants must be at least 15 years of age. There are no skill prerequisites to enroll; However, because there is an in-water skills session, participants must be comfortable in chest-deep water.

This blended-learning course is designed mainly for use by aquatics professionals seeking to satisfy a certification requirement for coaches who are members of USA Swimming, YMCA or other national governing bodies. This course is not intended to train an individual to become a lifeguard.

The 6-hour course combines web-based delivery of content, an online exam and a facility-based, in-water skills session. A shorter review course option is also available, along with course combinations that include Adult and Child CPR/AED full, review and challenge course options. The certificate, Safety Training for Swim Coaches/First Aid, is valid for 2 years.

An “online content only” option is available for coaches currently certified in Lifeguarding. This course involves completing the online learning portion of the course, including the online exam.

Home Pool Essentials: Maintenance and Safety: This online course, co-written with the National Swimming Pool Foundation, is designed to help home pool owners properly operate and safely enjoy a home pool or hot tub by learning the steps to maintain them, and how to plan for what to do in an emergency. Successfully completion of this course results in a certificate of completion that has no validity period. Home Pool Essentials is intended for anyone who owns or regularly visits a home with a residential pool or hot tub.

American Red Cross Swim mobile application: This app supports and promotes the American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety program, focusing on the courses in the Preschool Aquatics and Learn-to-Swim program. It helps teach parents about general water safety, such as knowing the important of constant supervision and how to respond in an aquatic emergency, as well as water safety knowledge in multiple environments, including home pools and natural environments. It also allows them to track the progress of their children throughout the program. A child-specific section features video segments from WHALE Tales with water safety messaging and quizzes for the parent and child to complete together.

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