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Infant Swim Lessons; ISR Swim Lessons or Basic Swim Lessons?

We were supposed to take a canoeing trip with some friends earlier this month, but our friends had to cancel due to a family emergency.

While we were planning this trip we realized that we knew nothing about TN boating laws regarding infants, nor how to shop for a PFD (Personal Floatation Device) for infants which we will share the results of our researching next week.

We know how to train our pups to build endurance for our canoeing trips, as well as how to pick a PFD for us and our dogs (although we have our reasons for not putting them on our pups, we’ll get to that later), we can swim, and we know the laws for us while one the water, but adding baby changes everything, and we didn’t want to go out on the water and be stressed out because we didn’t do our homework.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for infants and young children between the ages of 1-4.

Which is why we wanted to enroll in our local  ISR Swim Lessons or Infant Self-Rescue Swim Lessons, but haven’t had any luck reaching the lady who runs it. ISR Swim Lessons is where baby is taught to roll over and float on their back, rest, and breath until help arrives.

So instead we went down to the YMCA to enroll in their parent/baby swim lessons. They had the same six month age minimum as the ISR Swim Lessons. When asked why that age minimum and if we could possibly be an exception, turns out the reason for the age minimum is to ensure baby has good head/neck control, which Leelynn has.IMG_5164 copyright

So after two weeks of swim lessons, Leelynn closes his eyes and mouth when water is poured over him, mimicking dunking without actually dunking. This is something you can do at home in the bathtub too. (Tip: if you blow on your baby’s face they should reflexively take a breath and momentarily hold it, to help teach them when it is appropriate to hold their breath)IMG_5162 copywrite

We have also been working on him floating on his backIMG_5230 copyright

Leelynn’s been a fan of the water ever since his first bath, and we didn’t want him to have to miss out on the fun of swimming just because of his size/age or develop a fear of the water because we were nervous of him being near the water.

While we still want to do the ISR Swim Lessons, so he knows what to do in open water, the YMCA lessons are good start for now! IMG_5233 copyright

 

30 comments on “Infant Swim Lessons; ISR Swim Lessons or Basic Swim Lessons?

    1. Victoria Carter
      Victoria Carter

      With our hobbies revolving around water (canoeing, swimming, hiking near rivers and waterfalls), I wanted to get him used to being in the water and even if he just knows how to keep himself afloat I’ll be relieved.

  1. Cathy Armato

    This is so fascinating, what a smart idea to teach your baby to swim, or to “self rescue”! Where we live, in Phoenix, I’m continually horrified at how many children drown each and every year in pools or on the lake. With all the focus on water safety I don’t understand it. Water safety is so critical and it should be taught as early as possible. Sharing this.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
    Cathy Armato recently posted…Chain Link Puppy LoveMy Profile

    1. Victoria Carter
      Victoria Carter

      I agree, I grew up in Southern California and they drilled Canal safety into our heads at an early age, but there were still drownings!

  2. Robbi Hess

    This is great advice and a startling statistic. I love that you showed such good pictures so a reader could follow along and know how to keep their child safe in the water.

    1. Victoria Carter
      Victoria Carter

      It is a startling statistic, and thank you, taking the pictures was fun, but trying to take the pictures where there wasn’t anyone else from the class in them (for their privacy of course) wasn’t so easy since the pool was so crowded. We’ll try for more as the classes, and Leelynn progresses.

  3. Caren Gittleman

    I used to teach swimming for YEARS to children ages 1 to 4 years old.

    While swimming classes for infants are fantastic, sadly, it is a proven statistic that by age 4 an entirely NEW set of fears take over and often a child that “Learned to swim” prior to age 4, completely “forgets” everything.
    Most babies don’t really learn to swim under age 4, they just become more comfortable in the water.
    Regardless, exposing babies to water and making them comfortable in it is super important.
    Caren Gittleman recently posted…A special day!My Profile

    1. Victoria Carter
      Victoria Carter

      I’m hoping we don’t have many issues in the future, I really just wanted him to be comfortable in the water since our hobbies tend to revolve around water.

    1. Victoria Carter
      Victoria Carter

      Aren’t they though? I”m hoping we can contact the lady in charge of the ISR Swim Lessons sometime this summer.

  4. Robin

    It is great that you are getting Leelynn into this so early. He will be a great swimmer when he gets a little older. I’m glad that all of the dogs have been trained to swim too 🙂
    Robin recently posted…Celebrating Manna’s Birthday!My Profile

    1. Victoria Carter
      Victoria Carter

      Thank you, the pups knew how to swim already (its instinctual for most dogs) but working on their endurance so they don’t tire in the case of an emergency on the water is what we try to maintain. Once the temps warm enough for them to go in the water of course.

  5. The Swiss Cats

    Swimming lessons for babies are great ! It’s so important that a child gets used to water and knows how to keep safe by floating on his back ! Paws up ! Purrs
    The Swiss Cats recently posted…Deux chats serviablesMy Profile

    1. Victoria Carter
      Victoria Carter

      I agree, still working on the floating, he seems to be okay with it so far, hopefully by the end of summer he’ll get the concept!

  6. Ruth Cox

    Great that the baby is learning to swim at a young age and good the pups swim too! I can certainly understand the developmental concerns for the age requirement for infant swim classes.
    Ruth Cox recently posted…Beach Walks With My Dog TidbitMy Profile

    1. Victoria Carter
      Victoria Carter

      It never occurred to me before trying to enroll Leelynn, but then he developed his head/neck muscles early. Honestly he’s be growing and learning so fast that I’m just floored!

    1. Victoria Carter
      Victoria Carter

      Thank you Carol! BlogPaws was a blast, and our crew LOVED all the attention! Leelynn also enjoyed BlogPaws, now every time we get in the car for a long period of time he thinks we are going to socialize with more Animals and their people lol!

  7. Mary E Haight

    Learning how to swim at a young age is so important, especially for families who enjoy water sports. It’s great that you’re doing that and being careful. I came from a family who thought tossing you in was teaching — eek! But in his defense dad did get in right away and showed us how to tread water — we were going boating in a few hours so he wanted my brother and I to get the effect of being surprised. Well…it was a surprise 😀
    Mary E Haight recently posted…Getting Naked for Money, on Kickstarter!My Profile

    1. Victoria Carter
      Victoria Carter

      My brother and I both had swim lessons at the YMCA when we were young, we grew up in Southern California, so we really didn’t have to many places to go swimming other than pools. Now that I live in Middle TN, we have options, but for just starting out we need a pool, and I to be honest his learning so young is in a way us being ‘selfish’ since we didn’t want to stop doing what we love doing just because of his age/size.

    1. Victoria Carter
      Victoria Carter

      I agree, the first thing we do in our swim classes is the adults get in while the children sit on the edge and wait to be invited into the pool.

    1. Victoria Carter
      Victoria Carter

      I first saw a video of it years ago and was astounded! Once we became pregnant I knew we needed to do it, but like I said in the post, we are having issues contacting the lady who runs it, I’m wondering if she only offers the classes once or twice a year and we missed the sessions.

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