Safer Kids : Mission Possible for Drowning Prevention

Safer Kids: Giving Your Child the Skills & Experience to Survive a Drowning Event

About a 3 minute read

This week your children will practice essential drowning prevention and water safety skills at the pool.   This experience will complement what they already learn each week in swim class.

Students will participate in the Water Safety Challenge designed especially for young kids by Stop Drowning Now, a national non-profit focused on drowning prevention education.

SwimTots through SwimWinners will wear a t-shirt in the pool for part of their lesson.  If your children should ever find themselves suddenly submerged while wearing clothes, this exercise will prepare them for those sensations.  They will learn how the water can weigh them down differently than a bathing suit, what it feels like, and have better sense of how to respond and act with safety.

Please remember to bring a t-shirt with you to class April 30th through May 6th, 2018.  Your child will wear it in the pool. The t-shirt is an essential part of the lesson!

Your child will also practice “Reach – Throw – Don’t Go”.   It is common in a water emergency for a second person to get in trouble while trying to help the first.  This skill teaches your child how to avoid what is effectively a “double drowning”.  

Your child will learn:

  • Don’t go into the water in an emergency – even if you can swim
  • Yell loudly for help
  • Lie down on the water’s edge.  Help but do not get pulled in.   Extend something long enough to reach the person – but keep yourself safe.
  • Throw something that floats to the person to assist them
  • Call 911
  • Find an adult to help

Stop Drowning Now’s Safer Kid principle also teaches :

  • Active supervision – Constant, undistracted & responsible oversight while someone is swimming.  Kids must be monitored at all times when in or around the water.  Kids will learn they need a designated Water Watcher at the pool, shore, lake or even spa or bath.  Drowning risk never goes away.  A Water Watcher is the designated driver for everyone who is enjoying swimming. 
  • Swimming with a buddy – Swimming alone is risky.  Swimming with a buddy is more fun and helps if something goes wrong.  It does not replace the need for adult supervision, however.  Teaching to swim with a buddy invites your child to seek you if they want to go into the water.   An excellent habit for all generations.
  • Coast Guard Approved Lifejackets – Children who cannot swim must always wear Coast Guard approved lifejackets, even if there is supervision.  Same for boats, kayaks and other recreational water vessels.  Ordinary retail blow-up “floaties” have no safety requirements and can easily puncture, tear or malfunction.

Finally, your children will learn smart behavior choices around water.  These choices include understanding and following water safety and pool rules.  This will be the Pool Rules coloring sheet you will see poolside.   Your kid will bring this home to enjoy with the whole family.

Each student will receive a Water Safety Challenge certificate upon completion.   It’s a wonderful way to anchor their experience and create a lasting lesson of safety for your child and others.

Why do we do this?  Why is this so important?

Drowning is the number one cause of death in young children.  It happens in seconds.  A child can lose consciousness in 30-40 seconds; permanent brain damage in as little as 2 minutes; death can happen very soon thereafter.  Humans can’t make it long without air. 

Remember – drowning doesn’t look like drowning.  It is never like Baywatch.  Drowning is silent and fast. 

To learn more about Stop Drowning Now, please follow the link below or go to