Project Overview


SwimSafe Training In Chiang Rai, Thailand

SwimSafe is a survival swimming program for children in South East Asia. Drowning is the leading killer of children after infancy in Asia. Hard evidence now shows that a basic level of swimming ability, called survival swimming, will prevent most child drowning that occurs in children five years and older. Once learned, it will protect children throughout childhood. This ongoing protection is similar to a vaccine for drowning. Like vaccination campaigns for other causes of child death, to be effective as a public health intervention for eliminating drowning as a leading cause of death, it is necessary for most (75%) of children over 5 to be trained in this skill.


The aim of the SwimSafe program is to teach children the basic survival skills and water safety knowledge to help keep them safe when in or near the water that surrounds them in daily life; from ponds and lakes to rivers and the sea.


The SwimSafe program consists of 20 lessons of instruction in survival swimming, rescue skills and water safety knowledge. The curriculum is flexible enough to be adapted to a variety of different teaching environments, from natural water bodies to above ground portable pools and in ground swimming pools.


The SwimSafe program has two levels of certification, Basic and Advanced. The Basic program is aimed at younger children, aged from 5 years old. The program contains basic survival swimming skills and basic rescue skills (being rescued).

The Advanced program includes all the skills from the Basic program with the addition of rescue skills aimed at rescuing others and basic life support including cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This program is aimed at children who are confident in the water and have the mental and physical capacity required to perform rescue skills.

The SwimSafe program consists of skills and knowledge across six domains:

  • Core Knowledge Set
  • Entry and Exit Skills
  • Survival Skills
  • Swimming Skills
  • Rescue Skills
  • Resuscitation Skills (Advanced program only)

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Preventing child drowning in Asia through teaching survival swimming skills

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