I have a swimming pool in my backyard. Rather than viewing my backyard as the mini tropical oasis with a relaxing pool that it is, I view it as a watering hole death trap. As a mother to three small children, I may as well toss a few Bull Sharks and Alligators in there as icing on the cake for a dangerous recipe of disaster. Standing water and small children have never mixed well together. I had heard enough horrific tragedies about small children drowning, that I couldn’t look at my pool and not shutter the first few weeks we lived in our home.
As I fumed over the fact that we purchased a house with a swimming pool (most houses in the area we live in have pools..I live in the desert, it gets HOT as heck here) when we moved in to our current home, my anxiety calmed and my head cleared as I remembered this: If we are PREPARED, we have nothing to FEAR.
How do I prepare my children to live in a home that has a pool in the backyard? The first and most obvious answer is to install a fence locking down the perimeter of the pool as if it was Alcatraz. CHECK! Pool fences are fantastic and statistically prevent many drowning cases per year. High-five. But this anxiety burdened mother needed MORE than a pool fence, I just needed more control and reassurance.
Enter the Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) swim lessons. These incredible lessons teach babies as young as six months old and children as old as six, a set of life saving survival swim skills. I knew in my heart these were the tools I had to have taught to my children in order to live safely in a home with a swimming pool and to participate adequately in water based activities.
From six months to twelve months, babies are taught these essential, life saving skills by a certified ISR instructor:
IRS babies are trained to relax and float until help arrives to them in the water. It is SO incredible to watch the learning process. Initially my nine month old Scout did NOT appreciate her lessons (each lesson is ten minutes, five time a week…yes that is a big commitment, but it is SO worth it) and cried a lot of big crocodile tears. Many parents find this upsetting, thinking these lessons are unicorns and rainbows…wrong response guys…this is a great way to teach your young baby that they can do hard things. The swim lesson tears are momentarily tragic and every day hauls to the public pool is a little inconvenient but not nearly as tragic or inconvenient as a drowning accident or death.
☝🏻 Scout’s face when she started ISR classes 😂
Scout and I are currently in week three of our ISR instruction. I have seen SO much growth and improvement in my baby’s water safety skills. Today she floated completely independently for more than ten seconds and is quickly adapting to the optimal form needed to float, rest and breath. She is very relaxed and calm in her lessons, no more giant crocodile tears. Her instructor and I call her a hard working, chubby, swimming champ.
I highly recommend any parent who has a small child regularly around large bodies of water to click HERE to watch babies in action practicing their ISR skills! This link will also help locate a certified instructor in your area! There are also videos that show the skills older children master in their survival swim courses (their curriculum is a little more extensive than the six month olds).
If you have any questions about our ISR experience, please drop them in the comments!
☝🏻Scout’s face two weeks into ISR classes…much better. 👍🏻😂😍
You can shop Scout’s adorable swim suit and swim cap here:
***I will be writing a follow-up post once our lessons conclude to talk about Scout’s improvements and newly acquired water safety skills in 3-5 weeks!
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