Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Have you heard of ISR?

My kids doing the ISR float, last summer.
Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) is NOT your average swim lesson, this is survival swimming.

Something that speaks volumes is when your child can accomplish a goal at such a young age and you no longer have to worry.  You know that they will be safe.  If you live around water(we live on the coast of Florida) you know there are pool, beaches, rivers, streams, creeks and all sorts of water.  It is a necessity to learn how to swim…..but not just swim, how to survive if you fall in.  How does a child learn how to survive with no life-jacket if they fall in?  They float and call for help, that's how.  Traditional swim lessons (that we did) don’t teach how to float, they just teach how to swim.   Well swimming gets tiring and they need to rest, enter the ISR float.

I am going to introduce you to ISR(infant swimming resource), this is rescue or survival swimming for children. [ISR website] One too many children die from a drowning accident each year.  Recently, a local four year old boy fell off a boat with no life jacket.  Tragic.  My heart goes out to that family.  As a mother, I can’t even imagine, I don't want to. 

I have seen so many parents at pools and the beaches chasing their kids around, trying to put arm ‘floaties’ or a life-jacket on them and most of those kids have no fear of the water, because they have always been IN a 'floating device'….so the kid thinks they automatically float.  I have also seen first hand and been included in saving kids who didn’t have a life-jacket or ‘floaties’ on and who jumped in when the parents were not looking and thought they could swim… is a scary situation.  I have seen kids go to far in the deep end of the pool or slip off the steps and immediately sink, splash around, panic and not know what to do. 

Most parents want their kids to learn to swim, especially if you live near water.  However have you ever thought about teaching your kids to survive if they fall in the water fully clothed, or have a jacket over their head?  What about with shoes?

What happens when there is no kickboard, ‘floaties’ or life-vests, when the adults are to busy texting or talking and partaking in a beverage to notice…..?

ISR happened to us, and we are so grateful

ISR teaches them what to do in case of an accident and how to stay calm, not panic and float for a rest.  It teaches them how to swim, look for a way out, float when they need a rest.  It teaches them how to survive!  What if there is no adult around and they fall in a pool?   We do so many things to protect our children from danger, ISR is absolutely a must to add to your list. This program is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.   

This year, my daughter looking on at my son's ISR float.

It was not until my daughter was 4 when we had an instructor in our area.  We did the 'mommy and me' swimming and the more advanced swimming with kick-boards and such, but I was not convinced that she was confidant enough to swim.  A friend of mine told me about ISR and said that she was taking her 4 year old as well.  So I watched the videos from the website and immediately called Heidi.  I was almost in tears while I was watching how these babies would fall in the pool and float, swim, float and basically rescue themselves with NO ADULT. (****Always supervise your children, this is just a safety precaution!)  Any-who, Heidi told us how to get registered and so we did and got started about a month later.  I was not sure what to expect, but before we could even pass registration, you have to fill out an EXTENSIVE medical history and be cleared by their medical staff.  You have to keep daily BUDS(stands for Bowel, Urination, Diet and Sleep) records for the instructors to see.  There are certain foods they can’t eat because of gas and bloating and they need to know EVERYTHING, because it affects the lessons. 

I won’t go into detail about how important good nutrition is here, but IT IS.  Nutrition affects how the brain works and how the children respond to the instructor. Pop-tarts are NOT an acceptable breakfast!  Kids need Nourishing foods to learn how to swim and to grow!  If you follow me at all, you know this...too many parents don't know what their kids eat at school and many don't think this matters....It DOES!  Nutrition is just as important as getting the ISR lessons, PERIOD!

The average lesson goes for 6 weeks, we meet with the instructor 5 times a week for only 10 minutes a day. (I think this is where most people get turned away)…’how can you do anything in 10 minutes?’ 'And it is so expensive?'  I can't put a price on my child's life, can you?

 Let me tell you first hand, it is the most intense 10 minutes you will see and experience as a parent.  It is worth the money, I can PROMISE you that.  Invest in your child! 

The weeks are amazing how Heidi(and all ISR instructors) teach them with hand gestures what to look for, how to swim, float, and get out.   I am using Heidi as an example, because that is who we have had the pleasure of working with for the past 4 years.  She is so calming and really does so much!  (as a side note the instructors have to go through months of basic training and then continue with training just as a teacher, doctor or other professional who continue there education.  They are constantly updating their certification)  Heidi has become a Master level instructor and is FANTASTIC!!!

Most kids cry when they start. Heck, my son still cries because he is being challenged, not tortured.  He knows what to do given the situation! He can do the swim, float, swim.

I am going to share some personal videos of my son going through his training.  Some of the videos are from his first year, others are from his refresher year(and yes, he still cries)…..Just so you can get an idea of what might happen.  Listen and watch, they are all less than 2 minutes. One video his is training in the rain(real life!), another video he is fully clothed with shoes!  This is just my families experience and our commitment to keeping our kids safe!  If you have questions, call Heidi, she is the expert in our area(Florida panhandle) or look up local ISR instructors where you are located.  They have instructors all over the world!

Here is Heidi's info(with her permission for videos and such as well!)  Contact her, to teach your children to survive in the water. 


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