Water Safety: Swim Lessons & Personal Floatation Devices

child swimming underwater


5 Basic Water Safety Skills Everyone Should Learn

The ability to:

1) Step/jump into water over their head
2) Return to the surface and float or treat water for one minute
3) Turn around in a full circle and find an exit from the water
4) Swim 25 yards to the exit without stopping and
5) Exit from the water (able to exit without using the ladder)

Swimming instruction should not lull parents into a false sense of security, however.  47% of children ages 10-17 who drowned in a pool reportedly “knew how to swim.”   As stated above, parents should continue to provide active supervision for their children around water until their child is a competent, mature swimmer, and always have their children use the buddy system.

Last, it is not enough for just the child to know how to swim.  Parents should also learn how to swim, so that they can assist their struggling swimmer.  Atlantis Swim Academy also offers adult swim lessons.


Your child should always wear a correctly fitting US Coast Guard approved life jacket while on a boat, fishing off a dock, or engaged in other water-related activities where adult supervision will not be provided 100% of the time.

However, even though life jackets, arm floaties, and Puddle jumpers are great tools to keep our children safe around water, children frequently use floaties or PFDs may have a false sense of security, not understanding that they cannot stay afloat without them.  Children may have removed the PFD, and then either forgetting they took it off, or unaware of their limitations, jumped back in.

Additionally, most swim schools encourage parents to provide opportunities for the child to swim without a PFD (with adult supervision), so that the child does not grow accustomed to the unnatural balance and vertical positioning PFDs provide, or rely on the support provided.  Swimming requires a child to learn to move horizontally through the water and to use both arms and legs, but PFDs typically position a child vertically and inhibit arm usage

Having said that, you are the best judge of what your child needs and their safety is your number one priority.

preschool aged child at beach


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