Swim to survive

Offering the swim to survive program:

Toolbox for parents whose child is participating in the Swim to Survive program.


Swimming and bathing: there’s a difference!

Many children mistakenly think that they know how to swim… but there is a difference between swimming and bathing!

The Swim to Survive program has been created by the Lifesaving Society to prevent drowning. It has been designed as an educative and active field trip.

In addition to playing a key role in drowning prevention, the program gets the kids to move and gain self-confidence, and encourages them to visit aquatic facilities on a more regular basis.

The Swim to Survive program is offered to 8+ year old children (third grade in elementary school and up).

Copyright: The Lifesaving Society wishes to remind you that the Swim to Survive program is a registered trademark product from the Lifesaving Society and is protected by copyright. It is mandatory that you contact the Lifesaving Society in order to offer this official program and to use its name.

Program content and objectives

The program’s main objectives are to assess each child’s aquatic skills and to teach them the basic skills they need to survive an unexpected fall into deep water.

What are these basic skills? There are three of them:

Swim to Survive basic aquatic skills

These skills are acquired through three practical lessons in water (3 x 1 hour, or equivalent) and three theory lessons about water safety, given in class or at the pool (3 x 15 minutes, or equivalent). Theory sessions cover three of the four following topics: Always swim with a buddy, Check the ice, Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and Look before diving.

The three aquatic skills taught through the Swim to Survive program are based on the Lifesaving Society’s Swim to Survive Canadian standard which sets the basic skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. A person able to perform the three basic skills in good conditions (wearing a bathing suit, in warm water) should be able to get to a safe place nearby if an unexpected fall into deep water happens (sometimes with clothes on, in cold water, etc.).

Comments and suggestions

This form is intended for students, parents, teachers, principals and aquatic staff members who have experienced the program and who wish to provide feedback.


Contact us at 514-252-3100 or 1 800 265-3093, or at alerte@sauvetage.qc.ca.


The Lifesaving Society would like to thank Sylvie Bernier, Olympic champion at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Québec en Forme's Healthy Lifestyle ambassador and Swim to Survive honorary spokesperson, for her amazing representational role. The Swim to Survive program is made possible by support and funding from our generous partners:








content from this Website and the Swim to Survive program is the sole responsibility of the Lifesaving Society and cannot be taken as our partners’ position.