What Are Survival Swim Lessons?

Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4?

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, drowning deaths have surpassed congenital abnormalities and vehicle crashes in this age group. However, in children ages 5-9, drowning is the fourth most common cause of death, most likely due to “widespread swim training among school-aged children.”

As a prepper, you prepare for the unexpected in every aspect of your life. But did you know that you can prepare your infant or toddler to save themselves in the event that he or she falls into a body of water unsupervised?

Survival Swim Lessons

Infant Swim Resource (ISR) was founded in 1966 and pioneered the movement for survival swim lessons for infants and children between 6 months and 6 years old.

Infants between 6-12 months old will learn how to roll onto their backs to float, rest, and breathe until help arrives.

Children between the ages of 1 and 6 will learn what is known as “swim-float-swim.” This means that they will swim until they need air, roll over to a float to rest and breathe, and then swim again. Children are taught to repeat the swim-float-swim sequence until they reach safety—pool steps, the side of a pool, or a shoreline. They are also taught how to get out of the water—pulling themselves up on the side of a pool, climbing steps, etc.

Water Safety Checklist

Summer is coming and now is the time to make sure you are prepared to have fun safely. Use this water safety checklist to ensure that you are ready:

Adult Supervision

Create a plan for adult supervision whenever you are near the water with your children. One option is to take shifts. The adult who is in charge of watching the children should not drink, or use anything distracting (phone, book, tablet, etc.) while on duty. And remember, if a child ever goes missing, look for them in the water first

Pool Fences

Your pool should be surrounded by a permanent fence with self-locking gates, installed at least 3-5 feet from the pool edge.


If you have a pool, all doors and windows leading to the pool should be kept locked and have alarms installed on them.

Survival Swim Lessons

Children 6 months and older should be taught age-appropriate water survival skills.


If an emergency were to occur, it is important that all adults are trained in CPR on both adults and children. It is recommended that you renew your CPR certification at least every two years.

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