Red Cross Learn to Swim Levels
Ages 3 to 5 years old
Young children love to explore and discover new things in this world. Our swim lesson program for preschoolers is designed to give them an opportunity to do the same safely in the aquatic environment. Our instructors who teach these lessons are enthusiastic and energetic; to make sure your swimmers are having fun while learning to be safe in, on and around the water and building on their basic swimming skills. Evaluating your swimmer's needs and goals, our instructors will work to increase their comfort in the pool area.
- Main objectives for this age group are as follows:
- Enter water by stepping in
- Exit water by using ladder, steps or side
- Bobbing (Rhythmic breathing and bubble blowing under water)
- Open eyes under water and retrieve submerged objects
- Front and back floats and glides, with recovery to a vertical position
- Rolling from front to back and back to front
- Tread water using arm and leg actions
- Combined arm and leg actions on front and back
- Finning arm action on back
- Learn safety topics such as recognizing an emergency, knowing how to call for help; staying safe in, on and around the water through the proper use of a life jacket, recognizing a lifeguard and sun safety.
Ages 6 to 14 years old
(Water Adjustment and Basic Skills)
(American Red Cross Level 1-2)
In our introductory classes, early swimmers perform skills with assistance as needed.
Beginner program goals include:
- Entering and exiting water safety using ladder, steps or side
- Learning breath control by opening eyes under water and retrieving submerged objects
Blowing bubbles through mouth and nose
Fully submerging and holding breath
Bobbing (rhythmic breathing and bubble blowing)
- Front and back floats and then glides
- Recovering to a vertical position
- Rolling from front to back and from back to front
- Treading water using arm and hand actions
- Changing direction of travel while swimming on front or back
- Alternating and simultaneous leg actions on front and back
- Alternating and simultaneous arm actions on front and back
- Combined arm and leg actions on front and back
- Learn how to stay safe
Recognizing an emergency and how to call for help
Proper use of a lifejacket,
Recognizing lifeguards and sun safety
To never get into the water without a parent or guardian watching them
What to do when exhausted or caught in a dangerous situation
(Stroke Introduction and Improvement)
(American Red Cross Levels 3-4)
Prerequisites for Intermediate Swimming Include:
1. Be able to step from side to side into chest deep water, push off the bottom, move into a treading or floating position for 15 seconds and return/ travel 5 body length to exit the water.
2. Be able to move into a back float for 15 seconds, roll to front and recover to a vertical position.
3. Be able to push off and swim using combined arm and leg actions on front for 5 body lengths, roll to back, float for 15 seconds, roll to the front and continue swimming for 5 body lengths.
During Intermediate lessons, several strokes are introduced. All skills are performed without assistance from the instructor. Participants are introduced to and practice the front crawl (freestyle), elementary backstroke, back crawl, breaststroke, butterfly, and sidestroke.
Intermediate Swimmer Goals Include:
- Bobbing toward safety
- Safely swimming under water
- Feet first surface dive
- Rotary breathing
- Independent floating for longer periods of time
- Treading water using two different kicks
- Introduction to the 6 different strokes (front and back crawl, breaststroke, sidestroke, elementary backstroke, butterfly)
- Learn to perform simple non-swimming assists
- Learn to recognize, prevent and respond to cold water emergencies.
(Stroke Refinement and Improvement)
(American Red Cross Levels 5 & 6)
Prerequisites for level 5 & 6 include:
1. Swimmer should be able to perform a feet first entry into deep water, swim front crawl for 25 yards, change directions and position as necessary and swim elementary backstroke for 25 yards.
2. Swimmer should be able to swim breaststroke for 15 yards, change direction and position as necessary and swim back crawl for 15 yards.
Swimmers complete their mastery of all 6 strokes (all four competitive strokes plus side stroke and elementary backstroke) and add competitive and recreation starts, and turns, and begin to work on endurance and personal water safety. Swimmers also add advanced surface dives and underwater swimming skills to their knowledge.
Course Objectives Are:
- Shallow angle dive from side with a racing pull out
- Tuck and pike surface dives, submerging completely
- Front flip turn and back stroke flip turn while swimming
- Treading water (with and without arms)
- Refinement of all 6 strokes
- Demonstrate a feet first surface dive and retrieve an object from 7 to 9 feet
- Demonstrate the HELP and Huddle position for 2 minutes while wearing a lifejacket
- Demonstrate a survival stroke in deep water for 5 minutes
- Demonstrate a back float in deep water for 5 minutes
- Demonstrate survival swimming for 10 minutes
- Swim while clothed using any type of stroke (optional)
- Demonstrate self-rescue techniques while clothed (optional)
- Discuss basic safety rules for open water environment and boating
- Learn about recreational water illnesses and how to prevent them
- Know how to call for help and the importance of knowing first aid and CPR
- Learn basic safety guidelines for participating in aquatics activities at waterfronts