Fox 2 News Coverage:
Chuck and the ISR Program
Every lesson for every child is individualized – one on one with the instructor. Children are developmentally ready to start lessons after they reach six months of age. I prefer to wait to begin lessons until your child begins to crawl. In order to participate in ISR lessons, students must attend private lessons five consecutive days per week. The children will be in the water for no longer than 10 minutes. This helps provide a very safe lesson and is key to the retention of skills. Students can begin lessons at any time (typically on a Monday) and the parent or caretaker watches and cheers for their child’s successes poolside.
Students who are crawling (generally 6-8 months) through about 11 months will learn survival floating. He or she will be taught to rotate from a facedown position in the water to a back float. The baby will be taught to rest and breathe on his or her back until help arrives. You can expect that the typical infant will attend 5 lessons per week for an average of four or five weeks to attain these skills.
A child who is walking or very close to walking (usually anytime after 12 months) will learn a swim-float-swim sequence. He or she will be taught to swim face down; roll over onto his or her back to float, rest and breathe; then flip over onto his or her stomach to continue swimming until he or she reaches safety. This swim-float-swim sequence can be repeated as many times as is necessary to reach safety. This skill set can be achieved with 5 lessons per week in an average of five to six weeks.
After accomplishing these skills in a bathing suit, children will then practice their skills in summer clothing and then progress onto winter clothing. This additional work is critical to survival swimming because most children who find themselves in the water alone are fully clothed.
If you or your babysitter, neighbor or grandparents have a backyard pool, lake, pond, canal or other water hazard, consider these skills mandatory for your child’s safety.
Sometimes even the best precautions can end in tragedy. The last and most important line of defense against childhood drowning is teaching our infants and young children how to survive if they get into a body of water. If your child does find himself alone in the pool or body of water, their self rescue skills could save their life.
Keep these guidelines in mind when choosing a swimming program:
Question everything about the program, the instructor’s qualifications and what specific skills will be learned.
Be sure your child will learn how to swim with head in the water, turn on his back to float, rest and breathe and then flip back over to a swim. The sequencing of skills is crucial to get your child to safety.
Make sure all lessons are one-on-one. NEVER enroll in a program where the instructor must divide time
in the water between several unskilled students.
Be sure your instructor can thoroughly explain hyponatremia (water intoxication) to you. Ask what precautions are taken before and during the lesson to avoid this potentially dangerous situation.
Do not allow your child to be worked with for longer than 10 minutes.
Do not enroll in any swimming program before your child is 6 months old and never enroll in a program that uses flotation devices.
Finally, never believe that ANYONE is ever drown-proofed by any lessons or skill level. No one is ever drown-proofed and constant supervision in and around the water is the only sure way to prevent drowning.
I hope I have helped you and your family understand how critical it is to have children skilled in the water. If you have further questions about our program or water safety, please feel free to contact me.