I was introduced to the Infant Swim Resource program this past spring while watching the CrossFit regional competitions. I knew we were moving to a property that had a large pond and thought I should look into some water safety.
ISR teaches infants as young as 6 months and children how to rescue themselves if they were to fall into a pool, pond, jacuzzi, etc. The children are never thrown into the pool. At Lucy’s age (she started at 7 months old) an entrance into the water that simulates how she may end up is used (example, crawling over the edge, sitting too close and falling in backwards). As I researched this I learned that it would cost $100 a week, the sessions are 5 days a week, 10 mins long (it’s hard work and the short one on one lesson is for your child saftey), and the closest class was about 40 mins away.
When friends and family learned about what we were doing with Lucy we received varied reactions. Some of which were, “That’s awesome, tell me more”, “Wow that sure is a lot of money for 10 mins”, “You drive all that way for 10 mins”, “Why are you putting her through that? Babies already know how to float”… My response was very simple:
Lucy’s safety and my peace of mind are well worth the hour + spent in the car each day, the money spent each week, and the detailed daily log that needed to be kept. I could never live with myself if something were to happen to her and I never took advantage of the resource available to us, sacrificed that meal out at a restaurant that week so we could afford the class, and not made the time to get her there each day. Her life is priceless and if babies already know how to float why do so many of them drowned each year or have severe brain damage because they could not rescue themselves?
In 6 weeks I watched Lucy learn how to roll onto her back and float. She first learned to do this in a reusable swim diaper. To test her ability to do this in a real accidental fall she showed off her skills in her summer clothes and her final test was her winter get up. She had on a regular diaper, footed PJ’s, and a winter hat. She passed with flying colors. It was hard to watch some days. When her teeth started to come in she just didn’t want to be on her back and she protested the entire 10 mins. I had to keep telling myself that she isn’t scared, if she were scared she wouldn’t be playing with the instructor in between floats. She was learning something new and it was hard, of course she would complain about it!
I encourage you to check out the ISR program and enroll your infant/child as soon as possible. Floaties will NOT keep your child afloat. Babies and young children do not have the strength or skill to swim like an older child/adult and floaties only hinder their ability to learn how to get onto their back and float (which is the safest position for them to be in, it expends the least amount of energy) until help arrives.
Their website is http://www.infantswim.com
This video shows how easy it is for an accident to happen and how useful the ISR training is. (Before you get all worked up, there is someone in the pool with Miles, you just can’t see them until the end)
Eat Real – Jen