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Drowning doesn’t always look like we think it does.

In fact, 69% of children who have drowned in swimming pools were not expected to be at or in the pool, yet they were found in the water. Many child drowning victims are found with their clothes on.

Drownings don’t typically happen during a pool party or at the beach. They happen when a child slips out to the backyard on a Spring evening. They happen after a day of swimming when everyone is indoors resting. They happen when we least expect it and often when swimmers aren’t wearing a bathing suit or a life jacket.

We want to help prevent drownings from happening. One way we can help is by having a Clothing Week.

The Purpose of Clothing Week—Drowning Prevention

One minor detail—like having clothes on—can throw a child off and cause them to panic. Sure, they may know how to backfloat in swim lessons. But they don’t think they can do it with their shoes and pants on at home.

Clothing Week allows them to practice important safety skills with their clothes on, so they know the sensation and their abilities. If they ever find themselves in that situation—and we hope they never do—having this practice gives them the confidence to know they can get themselves to safety. This practice can help prevent drownings.

Even if your child doesn’t know any water safety skills yet, having this practice can help them react quicker until someone can come to their rescue. A little bit of time can make a big difference in an emergency situation.

“69% of children who have drowned in swimming pools were not expected to be at or in the pool, yet they were found in the water.

Clothing Week at Sea Otter

Clothing Week is April 29–May 4. For session swimmers, clothing day is Wednesday, May 1.

What is Clothing Week? / What to Wear?

Swimmers come fully dressed in their regular clothes for lessons. Dress them like you would for a cold day. The heavier the clothing is, the more the child will feel the difference in the water. Think jeans, sweatshirts, tennis shoes or boots for maximum impact.

How to Have A Successful Clothing Week

  • Clothing week is for all swimmers but especially encouraged if your swimmer is in Parent Tot through Piranha level.
  • If you are in our two-week session program, your clothing day is Wednesday May 1.
  • Bring an extra plastic bag to put wet clothes in after the lesson.
  • Have a swimsuit on under clothes. If kids get tired, they can take clothes off and practice additional skills for the remainder of the lesson.
  • Follow our same diaper policy. Regular diapers will not do well in our pool system.

If you have any questions about Clothing Week, contact us at 916-660-9492 or email us at