Swimming lessons for babies as young as 6 months can save lives

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GMAZ segments by Heidi Goitia

Posted on May 14, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 14 at 11:27 AM

PHOENIX -- With temperatures in the upper 90s and triple digits, families all over the Valley are ready for the cool escape swimming pools and water parks offer. That means drowning danger is at an all-time high.

While there's no replacement for eyes-on adult supervision, the team at Infant Swimming Resource aims to mitigate that danger by teaching babies as young as 6 months what it calls ISR Self-Rescue.

ISR says its instructors teach "the safest and most effective survival swimming lessons available."

The idea is that children need to learn what to do should they find themselves under water.

"ISR's core conviction is that the child is the most important part of a drowning prevention strategy and our over 260,000 ISR graduates and 800 documented survival stories are proof that children can save themselves," ISR president and CEO JoAnn Barnett said.

"Traditional swimming programs teach kids to swim with their heads up or rely on flotation devices," Barnett explained to 3TV's Heidi Goitia. "We teach the children to respond to the fact that they're under the water. We give them the skills that they need to save themselves."

ISR lessons are not meant to replace adult supervision and pool fences or other barriers. Those are essential and nothing will change that.

"This should be a last line of defense," Barnett said.

Generally speaking, children ages 6 months to 1 year learn the ISR Self-Rescue skill of rolling onto their backs to float, rest and breathe. They learn to maintain this position until help arrives.

Older, more mobile children will learn the full ISR Self-Rescue sequence of swimming until they need air, rotating onto the back to float, then rolling back over to continue swimming. ISR students are taught to repeat this sequence until they reach the safety of the steps, side of the pool, or the shoreline.

Lessons are one-on-one for 10 minutes a day five days a week.

For more information or to schedule lessons, visit www.InfantSwim.com.

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