Our mantra at British Swim School is “Survival of the Littlest” with SAFETY being our number one goal. That’s why we host Survival Week four times per year. During Survival Week, children practice swimming in their clothing so they’ll be better equipped to save themselves if they fall into water accidentally, which can happen quickly and quietly. 

What is Survival Week?

Survival Week is a week where we increase our safety awareness by simulating what it would be like for our students to swim fully clothed. In most water accidents or emergencies, they are usually wearing clothing and not prepared to be in the water. We believe it is crucial that children understand the weight of their clothes in the water and how their body moves. During Survival Week, swimmers practice survival skills in a controlled environment so they can be better prepared in an emergency, aiming to prevent as much panic as possible. 

In a supervised and safe manner, it’s important that swimmers build confidence wearing their clothing so it’s not the first time they experience it if they were to ever fall in. This experience prevents panic and swimmers are more likely to remember to rollover on their back and call for help.

It is also a lot of fun, as we have different themes throughout the year. Our students get to come to their swimming lessons dressed up as their favorite superhero, in their favorite pajamas, or in their favorite player’s jersey!

What to Expect During Survival Week

In addition to receiving their usual lesson, the swim instructor will emphasize water survival, review key safety tips, and simulate an emergency situation to discuss and educate both you and our swimmers. We want to provide information not just for when you are swimming with us, but when you are swimming without us!

During our Survival Week lessons, you and your swimmers will learn:

  • What to do if they unexpectedly fall into the water and how to call for help
  • What to do if they see someone in the water that needs help and how to safely help them
  • How to identify a lifeguard or someone who is able to help
  • How to call 9-1-1 and what to say to the 9-1-1 operator
  • The signs of drowning and how to identify someone that may soon drown

Reach or Throw, Don’t Go!

A main pillar of Survival Week at British Swim School is “Reach or Throw, Don’t Go.” Our swim instructors teach the students how to safely reach for or throw something to a swimmer who needs help, but without putting yourself at risk of falling or being pulled in. We show our swimmers how to identify items around the pool that would be effective to throw to a struggling swimmer to help them be pulled to safety. 

What are good things to throw? 

  • Life ring
  • Lifeguard rescue tube
  • Pool noodles
  • Swim ring

Survival Week is for all swimmers, no matter the level or experience in the water. At British Swim School, SAFETY is our top priority and teaching children how to survive in a water-related emergency is exactly why we designed Survival Week.

Contact your local British Swim School for more information and to join us next time!

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