Swim and Survive - Parents

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Swim and Survive for your family

Childhood is a time of wonder and mystery, exploration and fun, development and learning. As a parent or carer, you play a valuable role in reinforcing important water safety messages as your child grows. Positive aquatic experiences begin at birth and exposure to fun, safe water-based activities will help familiarise your child with water and build their confidence.

For more information about Swim and Survive complete the Contact Us form with your information request or feedback. Your local Royal Life Saving State or Territory Branch will contact you directly to assist with your query.

Swim and Survive Partners

A Swim and Survive Partner is a preferred, quality delivery agent that works together with Royal Life Saving in delivering key water safety messages.

Swim Schools sign an agreement to abide by a number of standards to ensure quality delivery of the Swim and Survive program. These standards relate to;

  • Venue Safety
  • Teaching Qualification Standards
  • Swim and Survive Program Delivery
  • Signage
  • Policy Adherence

The venue completes a safety self-audit and Royal Life Saving provides guidance and support to Swim and Survive Partners to maintain quality delivery of Swim and Survive.

Swim and Survive - Parents

Tips for finding the right Swim School

  • Friendly and Approachable - The Swim School will have a warm, welcoming atmosphere and the staff will strive to meet your family’s needs, answer your questions and address your concerns.
  • Well Maintained, Clean Pool and Facilities - Regular maintenance and cleaning programs should be adopted in accordance with health regulations. Swim Schools are required to check the water quality at regular intervals.
  • Qualified Staff - Swim School staff must have valid teaching qualifications appropriate for the students that they are teaching. Swimming and water safety teachers must also hold a current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation certification.
  • Skills and Lesson Activities should be appropriate for your child’s age, development, ability and should be taught in a progressive manner. Children may be encouraged to try a new activity, but should never be placed under stress during a lesson. Children need to repeat skills many times to learn and remember them, particularly if the skill is new.
  • Water Safety Skills - Essential in a quality program are water safety, survival and basic rescue skills each lesson, while acknowledging that swimming lessons alone will not make your child ‘water safe’. Parents and carers will be educated about the importance of active supervision in drowning prevention.
  • Operational Policies and Procedures - Swim Schools should have policies and procedures to ensure they adopt and maintain legislation and standards, codes of practice and guidelines that govern their operation.
  • Opportunities to practice newly acquired skills are often provided through safe water play and games. Swimming lessons should be fun and your child should be encouraged to try new activities to help reinforce new aquatic skills.
  • The swimming program should provide a pathway of learning for gradual skill progression for each of the key life stages. For example, the Swim and Survive program provides child focused swimming and water safety education for children aged 6 months to 14 years.
  • Safety - Your child’s safety is paramount. Swimming and water safety teachers are responsible for actively supervising all participants throughout the lesson, establishing safety rules, obtaining medical information and being familiar with the venue’s emergency procedures.
  • Rewards - Swim Schools should have a system in place to reward your child’s achievement as they progress from one award to the next. Certificates and logbooks are good examples of rewards that motivate each child in the lesson to try their very best.

Preparing for your lessons

Taking your children to swimming and water safety lessons should be a stress-free activity. Here are some tips to make your lessons valuable and an enjoyable experience for you and your child.

  • Prior to your child’s first swimming lesson at a new pool, take them to the pool for a play-swim. Your child will feel more relaxed in the water if they are more familiar with their surroundings
  • Observe the swimming lessons they will participate in and where possible introduce your child to their instructor
  • If your child is not used to wearing swimwear, a swim cap and goggles, have a dress rehearsal at home. Feeling comfortable in their swimwear will make lesson day easier
  • Arrive at the facility early with a relaxed, positive mindset particularly if swimming lessons are a new experience. Your child will feel calm, secure and ready to learn
  • Organise a swimming bag for your child containing everything that you think they might need - a towel, swimwear, goggles, swim cap, swim nappies (if required), a set of warm, dry clothes and a healthy snack for afterwards. A spare pair of goggles is a good idea
  • Goggles - Purchase a good quality pair of anti-fog googles that fit correctly. You should look for a good seal around your child's eye socket. Adjust the headband and nose piece before your child gets into the pool. It is important however, that children experience swimming without goggles
  • Swim caps have a number of benefits which include keeping your child’s head warm, acting to keep water out of your child’s ears, keeps your child’s hair tucked in and helps your child move through the water more easily, by decreasing resistance. Swim caps are compulsory at some swim schools
  • Take your child to the toilet prior to the start of the lesson to avoid accidents and minimise disruptions during the lesson
  • Poolside safety - Encourage your child to walk to and from the designated lesson area and enter and exit the pool safely. Wet tiles are slippery and activity equipment around the pool can present a trip hazard
  • Watching your child’s lesson is encouraged, but try to minimise interfering with the lesson. This can be confusing for your child, distracting other children in the class and can disrupt the flow of the lesson
  • Recognising your child’s achievements on the way home, makes children smile and ends the lesson on a positive note. ‘I saw you put your whole face in the water today, that was fantastic! I can’t wait to tell Dad!’
  • Ensure you are aware of the Swim Schools policies if your child is unwell or if you cannot attend a class