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It was all over the news in June 2018 when Olympic skier Bode Miller and his wife Morgan Beck Miller’s 19-month-old daughter “Emmy” drowned in their backyard swimming pool.

“It was a normal day,”

Morgan Miller said.

Yet, a child’s drowning can happen in an instant without the life-saving skills of survival swimming.

What is Survival Swimming?

Basically, survival swimming is a technique of swim-float-swim that teaches young children the basics of how to float and breathe for an extended amount of time, regardless of the depth of the water, until they can either reach the side of the pool or shore, or until help reaches them.

It is not just about being comfortable in the water, it’s about learning how to survive.

By using short, repetitive lessons, your child begins to feel comfortable in the water and learns to trust the instructor. Bit by bit, they gain the confidence to perform without instruction.

Lessons vary by the child’s age and developmental readiness, but all include teaching your child to roll over onto his/her back to float, rest and breathe. They are taught to maintain this position until help arrives.

Why Your Kids Need Survival Swimming Training

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1-14 is unintentional drowning, with children ages 1-4 most often drowning in swimming pools, hot tubs and spas.

Kids love water and are naturally drawn to recreational swimming and water activities. They have fun at the beach, go fishing on the lake, and hang out at neighborhood pools. And although fun, water can also be a source for danger.

Knowing the basic skills of survival swimming can save their lives.

Survival swimming techniques are not a substitute for monitoring your child in and around water, but can help your child to survive if he or she falls into a pool or becomes endangered around water. It is a method for children to save themselves until help arrives, and another way loving parents can help to protect and care for their children.

The SwimKids of Georgia Survival Swim Programs

If you ask us here at SwimKids of Georgia, “What is survival swimming?” we’ll direct you to our own Survival Swim Programs:


Little Splashers

Designed for kids ages 4-10 months, this program works with parents and caregivers to help you baby feel more comfortable in the water. The basics of submersion, breath control, back floating, and sort-distance propulsion are covered.



Designed for children ages 1-4, this program teaches children how to roll onto their backs to float, to flip onto their stomachs to swim, and how to exit the water.


Youth Survival

Designed for kids ages 4 and up, this class teaches the swim-float-swim progression with the addition of breath control and proper kicking techniques.


Special Needs

At SwimKids of Georgia, we work with special-needs children as well to teach them the basics of survival swimming and the swim-float-survive techniques.

Contact SwimKids of Georgia

Don’t let your child become another drowning injury statistic.

Sign up for our Infant and Survival Swim Lessons.