Red Cross Learn to Swim

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Whether you are learning to swim or you would like to become a lifeguard or instructor, the Canadian Red Cross water safety program has classes for all ages and abilities. Red Cross teaches participants to Prepare! Stay Safe! And Survive! around water and how to respond in emergency situations. The Canadian Red Cross has over 60 years of experience in keeping people safe and has delivered programs to approximately 3,800 pool and waterfront authorized providers. All Red Cross instructors have completed at least 60 hours of training followed by practice teaching.

Red Cross Swim Preschool

Ages: 4 months to 6 years

Red Cross Swim Preschool allows children to participate at various levels based on their age and abilities. Colourful animal mascots enhance learning and fun.

Printable Version

Level

Description

Starfish

Ages: 4 to 18 months accompanied by a parent

Babies are introduced to being in the pool through buoyancy, movement, songs, and play. To enter this level, babies must be able to hold their heads up.

Duck

Ages: 16 to 30 months accompanied by a parent

Toddlers build confidence through games, songs, and active play in an aquatic environment.

Sea Turtle

Ages: 2 to 4 years accompanied by a parent

Preschoolers develop skills in swimming, glides, and floating. They improve awareness of deep water and safe entries.

Sea Otter

Ages: 3 to 6 years

This transitional level for preschoolers develops skills in swimming, glides, and floating. Preschoolers improve awareness of deep water and safe entries, and attend classes without their parent or caregiver.

Salamander

Ages: 3 to 6 years

Preschoolers actively learn new swimming skills including floats and glides through games and songs.  The  fun includes learning to jump into chest deep water.

Sunfish

Ages: 3 to 6 years

Preschoolers develop stroke and skill progressions, and attempt entries and floats in deep water. Using good judgment is emphasized on and around the water.

Crocodile

Ages: 3 to 6 years

Preschoolers swim independently and build endurance through increasing distance for front and back swims.  Swimmers learn about PFD's and surface support.

Whale

Ages: 3 to 6 years

Preschoolers swim independently, continuing to build endurance and distance for their front and  back swim skills. Swimmers also learn about  basic rescue techniques.

Red Cross Preschool to Swim Kids Conversion Chart

 Preschool Level
 Swim Kids Level
 Incomplete or Complete Sea Otter, Incomplete or Complete Salamander, Incomplete Sunfish Swim Kids 1
 Complete Sunfish or Incomplete Crocodile Swim Kids 2
 Complete Crocodile, Incomplete or Complete Whale Swim Kids 3

Red Cross Swim Kids

Ages: 6 to 14 years

Red Cross Swim Kids teaches swimming and water safety skills that are targeted for each age group, with an increased focus on staying active in the water. Swimming strokes build through the levels with a focus on drills and distance.

Printable Version

Level

Description

Swim Kids 1

Ages: 6 to 14 years

This entry-level program provides an orientation to the water and the pool area. Swimmers are introduced to floats and glides with kicks. They build endurance by increasing their swimming distance.

Swim Kids 2

Ages: 6 to 14 years

Swimmers build front and back swim skills through deep-water activities, and learn the proper use of a personal flotation device (PFD). They build endurance through flutter kicking and using swimming aids.

Swim Kids 3

Ages: 6 to 14 years

Swimmers are introduced to front crawl as well as the foundation for making wise choices on where and when to swim.  Participants work on floats and changing direction.  Endurance is acheived by building strength in flutter kick and a 15-metre swim.

Swim Kids 4

Ages: 6 to 14 years

Swimmers develop front crawl and back glide skills as well as the shoulder roll for back crawl. They learn kneeling dives, surface support  and develop an understanding of their own limits. Swimmers build endurance through a 25-metre swim.

Swim Kids 5

Ages: 6 to 14 years

Swimmers receive an introduction to the back crawl coupled with sculling skills and whip kick on the back, as well as stride dives and an introduction to safe boating skills. Swimmers build endurance through a 50-metre swim.

Swim Kids 6

Ages: 6 to 14 years

Participants refine the front and back crawl, and are introduced to the elementary backstroke, safety on ice, elementary rescue with throwing assists, treading water, and the front dive. Swimmers build endurance through a 75-metre swim.

Swim Kids 7

Ages: 6 to 14 years

Swimmers build skills and endurance through the front crawl, back crawl, and elementary backstroke. They learn how to demonstrate the whip kick on the front. Participants learn about airway and breathing obstructions, and build endurance through timed treading water and a 150-metre swim.

Swim Kids 8

Ages: 6 to 14 years

Swimmers learn the breaststroke, foot-first surface dives and rescue entries. The program focuses on the dangers of open water, hypothermia, and  the performance of rescue breathing on children and adults. Swimmers build endurance through a 300-metre swim.

Swim Kids 9

Ages: 6 to 14 years

Participants refine front crawl, back crawl, elementary backstroke and breaststroke skills. They are encouraged to combine different strokes and kicks for fitness. Head-first surface dives and standing dives are practiced, and they learn about wise choices, peer influences, and self-rescue from ice. Swimmers build endurance through a 400-meter swim.

Swim Kids 10

Ages: 6 to 14 years

Swimmers learn how to further refine their strokes and skills. Sun safety, rescuing others from the ice, and headfirst and foot-first surface dives are practiced. Swimmers build endurance through dolphin kick, and a 500-metre swim.