Parent and Child Aquatics Level 1

Welcome to American Red Cross Parent and Child Aquatics Level 1!

Congratulations on choosing a course that will help young children become comfortable in, on and around the water so that when the time comes, they are ready to learn how to swim. Parent and Child Aquatics lays the foundation for future aquatic skills.

An adult—it could be a parent, guardian or caregiver—is required to accompany each child in the water and participate in every class. The adult participants learn too! Adults learn how to safely handle their infants or toddlers in, on and around the water, as well as how to become water smart.

We’re proud to offer you:

Professional instructors who are well trained by the American Red Cross.

Learning made fun in a safe environment.

A balanced program that teaches swimming skills and how to be safe in the water, including a focus on lowering the risk of drowning and increasing the chances of drowning survival.

A comprehensive swimming and water safety program for everyone in the family—from infancy to adulthood including:

A free Red Cross Swim mobile application available for download from iTunes, Google Play or Amazon Marketplace app stores.

Swim Lessons Achievement Booklets to track skill achievement and progression through the Preschool Aquatics and Red Cross Swim levels.

Badge system to recognize and reward achievement outside of the levels, motivating participants to strive toward developing specific skills and for recognizing participants for something that they are doing well, especially when they are struggling with a specific skill or set of skills needed to successfully complete the level.

What happens in Parent and Child Aquatics Level 1?

For each level of Parent and Child Aquatics, our instructors follow a plan to introduce new swimming and water safety skills that are developmentally appropriate and engaging for infants and young children. It is important to understand that Parent and Child Aquatics is not designed to teach children to become good swimmers or even to survive in the water on their own.

PA R E N T ’ S C O R N E R

You play an important role in Red Cross Parent and Child Aquatics. Your enthusiasm and guidance can make your child’s early aquatic experience fun and rewarding.

How can you help?

Supervise your child at all times.

Get wet and enjoy the program with your child.

Be ready to try new skills with your child.

Help your child develop a healthy respect for water while having fun.

Do not use bulky diapers. Swim diapers or pool pants designed especially for swimming are recommended.

Try to avoid scheduling swim lessons close to meal or nap times.

How can you build on your child’s swimming experience?

Encourage your child to continue exploring water during bath time.

Take your child to public or family swims to increase his or her comfort level and confidence in the water.

Parent and Child Aquatics Level 1 introduces you and your child to basic skills. As parents, you learn how to safely work with your child in the water, including how to appropriately support and hold your child in the water and how to prepare and encourage your child to participate fully and try the skills. In addition, you are introduced to sev- eral water safety topics. Your child receives an introduction to basic skills that lay a foundation for learning to swim.

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In Parent and Child Aquatics Level 1, great experiences and fun activities are provided to teach infants and young children to:

Feel comfortable in the water.

Enter and exit the water safely.

Explore breath control and submerging.

Explore floating on the front and back.

Change body position in the water.

Play safely in the water.

Experience wearing a life jacket.

Parents, you also learn:

How to properly supervise children and maintain safe behavior in, on and around the water.

How to hold and support your child in the water.

How to select and fit a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for your child.

Valuable water safety information to make your family safer in, on and around the water.

How are Parent and Child Aquatics Level 1 participants evaluated?

Level 1 of Parent and Child Aquatics is based on participa- tion. There are no skill evaluations here—just lots of positive reinforcement from instructors and parents. Your child is encouraged to participate in all activities. However, be- cause basic skills are introduced in Level 1, then built upon in Level 2, parents and children should be comfortable with the Level 1 skills before progressing on to Parent and Child Aquatics Level 2.

For children who are ready to move on to the next level, completion cards will be presented.

Where do you go from here?

Once infants or young children are able to comfortably perform the skills in Level 1, they should progress to Parent and Child Aquatics Level 2.

In Parent and Child Aquatics Level 2, your child will:

Learn more ways to enter and exit the water safely.

Retrieve objects below the surface and submerged objects with eyes opened.

Glide on the front and back.

Change body position in the water.

Explore combined arm and leg actions to begin experiencing swimming.


Practice basic water safety. Teach your children to al- ways ask for—and receive—your permission before entering any body of water. Always think safety first and apply the American Red Cross Circle of Drowning Prevention so that you and your child stay safe no matter where you are.

Life jackets are important. They are not a substitute for close supervision. Young children and anyone who cannot swim well should wear a

life jacket whenever they are in, on or around the water. Understand the limitation

of water toys. Inflatables, such as water wings, swim rings and other

flotation devices, are not substitutes for U.S.

Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

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