National Drowning Prevention Alliance

Standards for Water Smart Babies Lessons

All standards are based on current research and best practices.

Drowning Prevention Task Force, State/Local Agency

  • Become a USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Task Force
  • Educate physicians on the benefits of water safety, learning to swim, and the layers of protection
  • Educate swim lesson providers about the program
  • Provide Water Smart Babies collateral to interested physicians and swim lesson providers
  • Work with Water Smart Babies National to develop a marketing, PR and media campaign
  • Submit progress reports to the USA Swimming Foundation three times per year via “Enrollment Report” platform

Swim Lesson Provider

  • Become a Make a Splash Local Partner and complete the online Water Smart Babies Educational Course
  • Educate physicians on the benefits of water safety, learning to swim, and the layers of protection
  • Accept “prescriptions” and schedule parent/caregiver and child into parent/child swim lesson program
  • Educate the parent/caregiver about the importance of learning to swim and water safety
  • If possible, offer scholarships to parents/caregivers who qualify
  • Submit number of “prescriptions” filled to the USA Swimming Foundation as part of your enrollment reports three times a year

State Permitted Facility

  • The pools must be permitted by local government agency that oversees aquatic facilities.
  • The pool, deck, bathrooms, changing rooms must be clean and sanitary.
  • Babies need warm water to have a successful experience. The water temperature of 97°-93°F is recommended.
  • It is suggested that wet suits be used for temperatures lower than 90°F.
  • All babies must wear an approved, snug-fitting swim diaper in the pool.

Small Class Ratio

  • There should be a 1 to 6 instructor/child ratio with a parent or caregiver holding the child and participating in the lesson.

Credentialed Instructors

  • Instructors must have a national swimming certification and a basic course in infant water safety.
  • They should be certified in CPR and First Aid for the professional rescuer.
  • Background checks should be required for every instructor and staff member at an aquatic facility.

Nurturing Instructional Style

  • A good program builds upon a child’s successes.
  • Instruction style should always be nurturing, positive and supportive.
  • Instructors should be patient, gentle and enthusiastic to be successful.

Water Safety Curriculum

  • Water safety skills should be taught.
  • The lesson plans should be ordered in a step-by-step plan of development where one skill is built upon another in proper order. The skills should be practiced until they are mastered.
  • The parent should know exactly what is expected of the child in each level of the program.

Prescription Form

Please download our Prescription Form and email or fax it to us.

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