Are swimming lessons safe for infants and small children?
YES! ISR is dedicated to safety, and maintaining numerous safety protocols to promote safe lessons. Your child's health and well-being are closely monitored on a daily basis. In addition, your child's medical and developmental history is a mandatory part of the ISR national registration process, all of which is held strictly confidential. All ISR instructors undergo an intensive and rigorous training program that far exceeds any other training program of this kind. Each ISR instructor is also required to attend yearly conferences, and undergo an extensive re=certification process. Your education in the area of aquatic safety for your entire family is an integral part of your child's lessons, as well. You will receive a DVD and Parent Resource Book which educates you about every aspect of swimming for infants and children.
Consider these additional points:
What is ISR and how is it different from other swimming programs?
ISR is the product over 45 years of ongoing development in the area of aquatic survival instruction for infants and children. ISR can greatly increase your child’s chance of surviving an aquatic accident, even when fully clothed! Developed in 1966 by behavioral psychologist Dr. Harvey Barnett, ISR Instructors have taught over 200,000 students nationwide.
How do you teach a baby to swim?
ISR instructors teach infants to swim by honoring each child's individual strengths and experiences. They understand the fundamentals of the behavioral sciences, child development and of sensory-motor learning as it relates to the acquisition of aquatic survival skills; they use this education to guide each child through the sequence of learning to swim and float through non-verbal communication.
Do parents get into the water during the lessons?
Research shows that it takes an incredible amount of concentration and objectivity to teach a baby or child how to respond to an aquatic emergency, and parents often find it too difficult to be objective to be effective teachers with their own children in the water. Also, having parents in the water can be distracting to the child and the instructor.
Why should parents enroll their child in ISR lessons?
ISR parents enroll their children into ISR lessons because they feel it is important to teach their children how to survive an aquatic accident. Children will learn to float and breathe until rescued should they find themselves alone in the water. Research shows that swimming is best learned early in life. (Newsweek and Drowning Statistics)
What if my child is afraid of the water, or will my child learn to fear the water?
There is an important difference between being fearful and being apprehensive because you are not yet skilled in a certain type of environment. ISR is not like traditional swim lessons; it is a drowning prevention program that teaches survival swimming. Your child may not happily skip to his or her ISR lesson each day at first, but that's okay. Sometimes as a parent, you make sure your child does things for his or her safety, like receiving vaccinations or sitting in a car seat because you know they are safe and important. The same can be said for ISR. FUN can be defined as when SKILL meets CHALLENGE. Once competent in their skills, many children cannot be dragged away from the pool. They are having entirely too much FUN. When you learn about ISR, you know this is the most important level of protection you can give your child to prevent drowning. If fences, supervision, and alarms fail, your child's skill is an additional measure of protection.
I've never heard of ISR - why is it not more well-known?
ISR is continually growing while maintaining its high standard of quality control. Parents who take the time to investigate the programs that are available for their children find ISR; hence, the program continues to grow by word of mouth with hundreds of thousands of educated and satisfied parents. We look forward to the day that Not One More Child Drowns!
What training do ISR Instructors have?
Each ISR Instructor has spent a minimum of 6 weeks in the water working beside a Master Instructor and/or Senior Master Instructor, gradually taking more and more responsibility for each child’s lesson. Each Instructor is also required to maintain certifications in First Aid and CPR for Healthcare Providers. In addition, each Instructor is required to attend the ISR National Re-certification Conference each year for continuing education about every facet of ISR, as well as quality control and quality assurance.
Why can't ISR teach infants under 6 months old?
Children under the age of 6 months are not neurologically mature enough to benefit from ISR instruction.
What other benefits does the ISR lesson experience provide the child?
Every child is different; however, many parents report that once their young children have mastered learning to swim, the resulting confidence in their abilities builds a positive self-confidence that is often demonstrated in other aspects of their personalities, growth and development.
How do children know to hold their breath?
Breath holding skills are taught in the first few lessons. ISR Instructors shape breath control using highly effective techniques along with positive reinforcement.
My child has had little or no experience in the water; can they still take these lessons?
Yes, whether your child has been a water lover for their whole life, or this is the first time they have been introduced to the water, ISR lessons are designed for all children.
What about the use of flotation devices and life jackets?
Flotation devices give children a false sense of security and hold them in postures that are not compatible with swimming skills. If a child learns that he can jump in the water and go into a vertical posture and he will be able to breathe, he is getting the wrong idea about that environment. Flotation devices are for children who cannot swim. Children, who cannot swim, should not be allowed to learn that it is safe to play in the water while relying on a crutch. Life jackets must be worn in a boat or around the water when there is the potential for an accidental submersion; they are not a substitute for the ability to swim or for adult supervision.
How is it that babies can learn to respond to the danger that water presents when they fall in?
A baby does not need to perceive danger or be afraid to respond appropriately to being underwater. If a baby has learned to roll over and float when he needs air, he doesn’t need to perceive danger in order to respond in this manner. He needs skill, practice and confidence to calmly deal with the situation.
What further lessons will my child need?
ISR recommends that you bring your child back for refresher lessons. Frequency depends on the child’s age, growth rate, skill level and confidence level. The goal of refreshers is to help your child adjust his/her new body size and weight to his existing skill level. Your Instructor will work with your child to help fine-tune his or her aquatic experience to assist with building efficiency, which will result in self-confidence. This is especially important if your child has not been able to practice any appropriate aquatic skill between seasons. While NO program can “drown proof” your child, ISR lessons typically have a 94% retention rate up to one year later. Refresher lessons are important because children change rapidly both cognitively and physically during the first 4-5 years of life. It is important that their aquatic skills and abilities grow with their bodies.