BUILD SKILLS NOW, PLAY LATER!
Please read the article below and feel free to ask your local ISR instructor a question! Thank you.
Summer swimming season is coming at a fast pace and parents must keep their children’s water-safety top-of-mind.
Most drowning accidents occur when the child is in the direct care of an adult caregiver. It only takes three minutes, with a child face down in a small amount of water for tragedy to happen. Three minutes is enough time to “quickly grab the phone” or “run to the refrigerator.” Even a small breakdown in supervision can be dangerous to a child playing outside around water.
According to the Safe Kids Coalition, 58 percent of parents do not consider drowning a threat to their children. This attitude becomes a compounded, serious risk to little ones who toddle around outside on sunny summer days. Below is some practical advice that will help children safe around the water in the months ahead.
Survival Swimming Lessons for Tiny Tots
Parents are cautioned to continually supervise babies and toddlers near water, and pool owners are advised to fully fence their pool and install self-locking gates. In spite of precautions, though, drowning remains the leading cause of death for infants and young children in 18 states and, nationally, is second only to automobile accidents.
Seventy-five percent of children who drown are missing from sight for five minutes or less and are in the care of one or both parents. Even a six-month-old can move fast enough to end up in the water before a parent notices the child is gone. This is where Infant Swimming Resource (ISR, www.infantswim.com) comes in. ISR instructors train babies in the skills they need to save themselves if they were to end up in the water alone. If a child can crawl, she or he is a candidate for ISR self-rescueTM swimming lessons.
How is the ISR program different from Mommy & Me?
Catherine Dudick, MD, trauma surgeon at The Harrah’s Regional Trauma Center at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (ARMC) – which partners with the AtlantiCare LifeCenter to offer the ISR self-rescue program – makes an important distinction between swimming lessons, swimming ability, and self-rescue ability. “Until about five years of age, children aren’t able to do a crawl stroke. Learning self-rescue techniques can buy valuable time for very small children in the event of a water emergency.”
The program has been incredibly successful. Since 1966, ISR has delivered more than seven million lessons to 200,000 babies and has 788 documented cases of children using ISR techniques to save themselves from drowning.
"We do it differently. Why would you want your eight-month-old child comfortable or confident around the water if they were unskilled? We teach them the skills to survive if ever faced with an aquatic emergency -- teaching them to be competent problem solvers in the water," says Lori Tucker, certified ISR Master Instructor.
A Curriculum for Life
ISR Instructors teach infants from six to 12 months old how to hold their breath underwater and roll onto their backs to float while waiting for an adult to rescue them. Children older than one year learn to hold their breath underwater, swim with their heads down, roll onto their backs, rest, breathe and roll back over to continue swimming toward safety.
"As with any activity such as walking or swimming, it is learned on a Sensori-motor level. It’s teaching muscles, and muscles have memory,” she says. “If you were to sign up a one-year-old, an 18-month-old or a two-year-old through most organizations, it’s either a ‘mommy and me’ class, or a water association class.”
ISR is a state of the art program with one-on-one lessons custom tailored for each individual child, by Instructor’s certified to work safely with infants and young children.
Tips to protect children from water dangers year round: (Remember water areas include pools, hot tubs, rivers, retention ponds, bathtub, ditches and flooded areas)
Effective Supervision - the most important defense. Never turn your back on your child around water. It takes just minutes for her to be in serious trouble.
Pool Safety. Covered pools and hot tubs can be a serious oversight for well-meaning parents. Make sure they are appropriately secured, year-round, with:
-- Pool alarms and doorway alarms that access outdoor water areas.
-- Permanent pool fencing with a self-latching gate.
-- Door and window locks for pool access areas (locks must be out of the child’s reach).
-- Double check locks and make sure pool security devices work. Safety gates are deterrents but not a sole defense. Did you know the average three year old can climb a pool fence in 34 seconds?
Educate Others. Nannies, grandparents, neighbors and caregivers should know year-round water-safety tips and have appropriately installed security devices where relevant.
Store All Toys. Toys are tempting; never leave them outside around water areas.
Keep a phone by the pool. To be used for emergencies only.
Aim pool jets toward the pool’s shallow end. This creates a current that can guide a baby toward the steps to exit the pool.
Keep water levels full. This helps your child reach the elevated ledge and either climb out of or hold on and call for help.
No Diving Boards. Ever.
Self-rescue Skills. Teach young children self-rescue skills as the final layer of defense if they fall unnoticed into a body of water.
ISR, with more than 450 instructors throughout the United States, teaches proven water self-rescue skills to babies and toddlers as a comprehensive water-safety plan. ISR has more than 788 documented cases of children saving themselves using ISR’s self-rescue techniques.