It’s never the wrong season to focus on swim safety. With mild weather, indoor pool options, and year-round classes, kids in San Joaquin County tend to swim long into the fall and maybe even beyond. And while infants should never be left near a pool unattended, accidents happen. Prevent those accidents from becoming catastrophes by preparing your infant to be near water and save themselves if needed.
Local swim clubs teach ISR, which stands for Infant Swimming Resources, a type of swim instruction that focuses on the youngest water babies and basic swimming skills that can prevent drowning. Education suggests the use of pool fences and alarms as well as parental supervision in all cases, but involving the child takes ISR to the next level, as a last line of defense for children who find themselves in the water unattended. The self-rescue program teaches babies as young as six months old what to do if they accidentally fall into the water, or suddenly find themselves unable to stay afloat, and provides more advances self-rescue techniques for kids as old as six.
For children six to 18 months of age, the self-rescue swim includes rolling onto their back to float, resting, and breathing while they wait for help to arrive. By teaching a child to float and stay calm, parents have time to rescue their child before danger becomes imminent. This skill is called the rollback to float.
When children get older (18 months to six years of age), the technique changes to a swim-float-swim survival sequence during which the child swims with their head down, rolls onto their back to float, rest, and breathe, and then swims again, repeating the sequence until they reach the edge of the pool where they can pull themselves out or hold on until rescue comes.
Programs vary from location to location, and some teach infants and young children to complete these rescue swims fully clothed to best mimic a survival situation. While thousands of kids die every year due to drowning, survival stories show hope of how ISR can prevent these deaths. For the best results, trust a professional; find a local swim instructor or class that offers ISR classes.