Families play a vital role in teaching children how important it is to learn to swim and be safe in and around water. The American Red Cross has developed resources to help parents, caregivers and kids learn about water competency which involves a combination of being water smart, having water safety and survival skills, and knowing what to do in a water emergency – even if you don’t have access to a pool.
Red Cross Swim App Now sponsored by The ZAC Foundation, the Swim app has been updated with more water safety content for the entire family. The app features information on the layers of protection to prevent drowning, risks around water at home and other environments such as lakes, rivers and oceans, as well as in risky situations, such as group gatherings. A special interactive section for kids helps them learn about good safety choices with quizzes to check their knowledge and opportunities to earn virtual badges that they can share.
Online Courses A variety of online courses are available to take at your convenience:
- Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers is free and focuses on developing an awareness of the risks of drowning and how to minimize those risks, especially for young children.
- Becoming a Water Safety Ambassador is free and is intended for anyone (parents, teachers, adult and youth leaders) who want to teach others about making their communities safer in and around the water.
- First Aid and CPR/AED courses help participants learn how to recognize and care for a variety of first aid, breathing and cardiac emergencies.
Water Safety Webpage A go-to source for making water safety a priority. It includes a resource center with downloadable materials in English and Spanish.
Water Safety for Kids Webpage Designed to help teach elementary school-aged children, the page features safety topics from Longfellow’s WHALE Tales, videos, activity sheets and quizzes. A discussion guide helps parents and caregivers engage with their children while they are learning.
Water Watcher Information and DIY Card The concept of a “water watcher” is that someone should always be identified whose sole responsibility is to supervise children during any in-water activity, especially in a group setting, until the next water watcher takes over. Learn more about what it means to be a water watcher and make your own water watcher card.
We hope these resources will help you and your loved ones enjoy a safe, healthy and fun summer.