Red Cross Shallow Water Lifeguard Course

We typically teach this course upon request to pools that only have shallow water, like swim schools. However, if you don't swim well enough for the standard course, we can modify any of our courses to the shallow water course for you. 

Is this the right class for me?
The American Red Cross Shallow Water Lifeguard course can be used to work at facilities that only have a water depth of 5 ft and less. If your pool has no deep end, the swimming skills required for this course are less demanding than the standard course.

 How does it work?
1. You take an online course and at-home-final at your own pace. You will be emailed these after you register.
2.Come to the 12-hour instructional day of this course. This is about half wet and half dry.
3. Come to the 4 hour testing day of this course, or choose a different testing day after your instructional day. You will choose the testing day when you register. If you can’t make any of our scheduled testing days, we will work with you on a custom date at no extra charge (not the 12 hour day).

This course is modular. You don’t have to take the testing day attached to this course. When you register, you may choose a different testing date after the instructional day. If you can’t make any of the testing dates, we will do a custom dating for you at no cost (not the 12 hour day).

What is blended training?
Students complete an online training course, readings, and an at-home final before the course. This at-home work takes as must as 10 hours. Then candidates come to the instructor-led session, which is about 12 hours and then a testing session, also at the pool, which is about 4 or fewer hours.

Deerfield, IL


1. Must be 15 years old on the first day of the course.
Swim 100 yards continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. Candidates may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke, or a combination of both but swimming on the back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles are allowed.
3. Tread water for 2 minutes using only the legs. Candidates should place their hands under the armpits.
4. Complete a timed event within 50 seconds:
■ Starting in the water, swim 20 yards using the front crawl or breaststroke. The face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not allowed.
■ Submerge to a depth of 4 to 5 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object. Return to the surface and walk or swim 20 yards to return to the starting point with both hands holding the object at the surface of the water.
■ Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

Certification Requirements:
■ Successfully complete the online course
■Attend and participate in all class sessions.
■ Demonstrate competency in all required skills and activities.
■ Demonstrate competency in all required final rescue skill scenarios.
■ Pass Shallow Water Lifeguarding Skills final written exam with a minimum grade of 80 percent.

Certificate Issued and Validity Period:
American Red Cross certificate for Shallow Water Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED: 2 years

American Red Cross Lifeguarding Manual (EBook, included in course) 

Text Us

Differences in the swim pretests:

Shallow Water Pretest

A. SWIM 100 yards continuously using front crawl or breaststroke with breathing to the side or front
B. TREAD for 2 minutes using legs only
C. BRICK TEST Surface dive to the bottom of a 4-5 ft pool and retrieve a 10 lb brick.

More info

Standard Lifeguard Pretest

A. SWIM 300 yards continuously using front crawl or breaststroke
B. TREAD for 2 minutes using legs only
C. BRICK TEST Surface dive to the bottom of the deep end and retrieve a 10 lb brick.

More info