How We Are Different

How We Are Different

Kids Aquatic Survival School
advocates floating as a life saving survival skill
CALL 1800 543 779

KASS deliver Australia’s safest, most effective, accelerated aquatic survival program for non verbal infants and young children. The program focuses on aquatic survival skills tailored to babies / infants (from 6 months), toddlers (aged 1 – 3 years) and pre school children (aged 3 – 6 years).

Drowning doesn’t occur due to a lack of swimming ability. Drowning occurs when a person is unable to hold and maintain an effective body position for breathing. With over 70% of children under 5 years drowning due to falls into water, this means the child is not intending to swim when they drown. They access water unnoticed, fall, become disorientated, usually fully clothed which is a completely different sensory experience for them, revert to a vertical position and eventually cannot gain a breath. Breath is life.

No child is drown-proof, and nothing replaces supervision or restricting access to water, however teaching a child to float could give the child, parents or emergency services those crucial seconds or minutes which could prevent further tragedy. The survival skills we teach are designed to form the final layer of protection in the prevention against drowning.

With KASS the child is skilled in WEEKS not years, because taking years to teach a child aquatic survival skills may be too late. Call 1800 543 779 or email [email protected] to discuss a start date and availability.

We do things very differently from most swim schools however we strongly feel these differences are vital in teaching adequate skills and reducing the drowning rate for children under 5.

Our 5 distinct differences are:

1. Accelerated program tailored to under 5 year olds who are most at risk of drowning

Our program teaches babies, infants and toddlers aquatic survival skills in 6-8 weeks which is 30-40 lessons.


Because it is the under 5’s that are most at risk of drowning so it only makes sense that children are still in this age group when they are adequately skilled. The program gets results in weeks not years. When the overall goal is to prevent drowning in children, safety, effectiveness and use of time is of a great importance.

The KASS Survival and Learn to Swim program teaches children:

  • From 6 months to walking age: breath control and how to roll onto their back and stay in a floating breathing posture until help arrives.
  • From 12 months/walking age: children are taught skills such as;
    • Breath control,
    • How to turn, reach and grab the side. If they are out of arms reach how to swim (front paddle) to the side,
    • How to roll back to float, rest and breathe,
    • How to incorporate the sequence of swimming and floating if safety is further than one breath away.

All children are taught how to remain in a floating, breathing posture if getting to safety is simply not an option. This is all taught without floaties or parents/carer in the water with the child.

Once the child has completed the KASS Survival program and is fully skilled, the child simulates an accidental fall into water. This allows the child to apply their newly learnt skills in a safe and controlled environment wearing full winter clothing including shoes and nappy. This is a vital step because it is a very different sensory experience swimming or floating in clothes. We do this because over 70% of children who drown, do so due to falls into water and 45% of drownings in children aged 0-4years occur in a swimming pool. For every fatal drowning a further 3 will be hospitalised as a result of a non fatal drowning incident. These aquatic incidents usually happen when the child has wandered to a body of water unnoticed and fully clothed. It is a crucial skill for the child to learn, so should they ever fall into water fully clothed, it won’t be the first time they have performed this skill and hopefully prevent further tragedy and most importantly SURVIVE.

Once a child is skilled in aquatic survival, we encourage weekly transitional swimming lessons, because we believe the more you do something the better you will get. The Kids Aquatic Survival School survival and learn to swim program creates the best aquatic survival foundation for the child to build upon for furthering their swimming ability.

2. Private 1:1 lessons with specialised instructors

We only deliver private lessons for the following reasons;

  • Safety – the instructor is focussed on your child 100% of the time
  • Efficiency – enables the child to obtain 100% swim time, no down time or waiting on the step and
  • Effectiveness – allows the instructor to tailor the program to the child’s individual needs and ability

All instructors are fully qualified in swimming and water safety and preschool aquatic as well as undertaking further in water training and academic study of a broad base of subjects including child development and learning theory, behavioural science, anatomy, physiology and physics as they relate to infants and young children in the aquatic environment.

3. No floatation devices

We do not use any floatation devices, goggles or aids when a child is learning the 6-8 week survival program.


We want children to have a realistic understanding of their capabilities in water.

Floatation aids, swim vests, water wings give children (and parents) a false sense of security and do not teach the child to respect the water.

Floatation devices allow children to be in the water for such a long time with their head up, eyes ahead, swimming around comfortably. Then when you take the aids off, they are unable to maintain this posture without them on. Generally speaking most infants that fall into water don’t have these devises on.

If a child wears goggles in the survival and learn to swim program, they will become accustom to them. If they fall into a body of water it is unlikely they will be wearing goggles. Therefore they may not be use to opening their eyes underwater without them. This may cause the child to panic and be unable to look for safety or the pool edge. We want children to respond appropriately to a realistic aquatic accident. In the survival and learn to swim program, we teach children without goggles so they become comfortable opening their eyes underwater and looking for safety or a way out of an aquatic accident. Therefore should the child ever fall into a body of water not wearing goggles, they will be familiar with this process. 

Read more about these topics on our blog page: No goggles and No flotation devices

4. No parents in the water

We do not permit parents in the water with children (even the under 3’s) whilst they are still learning.


Teaching adequate skills and playing in the water are two very different things. Most parents simply do not have the knowledge or training to teach their child adequate skills in the water. A parent in the water can delay the learning process. We want the child equipped with survival skills as quickly as possible to prevent a tragedy. As a parent your intentions are good, however you may act like a floatation device for the child allowing them to grab hold of you rather than the pool edge or safety. Parents may also have their own fears or anxieties regarding water and unintentionally project these onto the child.

5. Flexible start dates

We deliver the KASS Survival and Learn to Swim program all year round not by the school terms (excluding weekends and public holidays). We also do not charge for missed lessons if a child is sick.

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