Babies learn survival skills in unexpected encounter with water

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An organization in Chandler is helping babies as young as 6 months survive in the water. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) An organization in Chandler is helping babies as young as 6 months survive in the water. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Through Infant Swimming Resource, babies and kids take classes in 10-minute increments, five days a week, for six weeks. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Through Infant Swimming Resource, babies and kids take classes in 10-minute increments, five days a week, for six weeks. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Therace Pollard is a certified instructor with Infant Swimming Resource. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Therace Pollard is a certified instructor with Infant Swimming Resource. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

It's a story reported frequently in the Valley, especially as temperatures heat up. A child wanders away from their parent and toward the water. The end result can be tragic.

"Being able to survive when they didn't think their child had the chance is incredible," said Therace Pollard. 

Pollard of Chandler is on a mission to teach young children, like 1-year-old Dylan Warner, how to stay alive.

"If they were to fall in, they would be able to rotate into a float, and be able to stay there until help arrives," said Pollard.

Pollard is a certified instructor with the organization Infant Swimming Resource. Through ISR, babies and kids take classes in 10-minute increments, five days a week, for six weeks. The goal is to train kids 6 months to 6 years of age how to survive in water, trusting their own ability to be buoyant.

"That first inhale where he hasn't flooded his face, or those arms out," said Pollard.

These skills are critical during an unexpected encounter with water. Since May 13, four children in Avondale, Mesa and Gilbert were involved in drownings or near drownings.

"It's horrible. It's every parent's worst nightmare," said Kayla Lowery.

Lowery has put her children through ISR for the past five years.

"They're becoming independent, comfortable and they know what to do in case they do fall in," said Lowery.

While the program recommends refresher lessons every six months, Chandler Fire engineer paramedic Trevor Pollard, who is also Therace's husband, warns parents not to become complacent.

"Watch your kids all the time. Phone rings, make sure your child comes with you. We try to teach children in schools, your parent leaves, you get out of the water and you go with them," said Trevor.

The father of three says he's seen many tragedies where a pool fence could have also saved a life.

"To be there, we all carry scars from those calls. We all try to forget those calls because they add up, and to think, it's all preventable," said Trevor.

"Give your child every chance and opportunity possible. Why wouldn't you?" said Therace.

For more information on enrolling your child in ISR, go to www.infantswim.com or chandlerazisr.com.

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