ISR is the product of more than 55 years of ongoing development in aquatic survival instruction for infants and children. ISR’s goal is for your child to become an “aquatic problem solver” with the ability to self-rescue in any depth of water. ISR skills will greatly increase your child’s chance of surviving an aquatic accident, even when fully clothed!

YES! Children who are developmentally ready learn to swim as part of the survival process to get to safety. The difference with ISR is that children learn swimming PLUS survival skills to become aquatic problem solvers.

YES! ISR is dedicated to safety and maintaining numerous protocols to promote safe lessons. Your child’s health and well-being are our highest priority and are closely monitored daily. Also, your child’s medical and developmental history are a mandatory part of the ISR national registration process, all of which are held strictly confidential. All ISR instructors undergo intensive and rigorous training that far exceeds any other training program of this kind. Each ISR Instructor is also required to attend a yearly recertification symposium that includes quality control as well as continuing education.

Your education in the area of aquatic safety for your entire family is an integral part of your child’s lessons. You will receive access to the “Parent Resource Guide”, written by Dr. Harvey Barnett and JoAnn Barnett, which will inform you of every aspect of swimming for infants and children. With research, you will find that ISR is the safest survival swimming program but also the most effective for teaching infants and young children. ISR’s protocols have allowed for more than 8 million lessons to be safely delivered by Certified ISR Instructors.

ISR claims a retention rate of 94-100% up to one year following lessons. Having said this, children will explore and may pick up bad habits watching other children or with interference like floating in a bathtub or playing on the steps. As your child goes through lessons, you will begin to understand, through communication with your Instructor, what activities may interfere with his/her learned Self-Rescue skills. Contacting and/or returning to your instructor in a timely manner is imperative to maintaining effective habits.

The reason for this is multifaceted. First, repetition and consistency are crucial elements of learning for young children. Research shows that short, more frequent lessons result in higher retention. Second, most children have fairly short attention spans and will not be able to focus on the task for longer, and we want to take advantage of the best time for learning. A third reason is that, though the pool temperature is maintained at 78-88 degrees, the temperature is still lower than your child’s body temperature, and we don’t want them losing excessive body heat. Instructors check students regularly for temperature fatigue and physical fatigue.

The 6-week average is based on the average time it takes most children to learn these survival skills. Every child is unique, and ISR’s Self-Rescue program is designed based on your child’s specific strengths and needs. It is important to realize that this is an average, meaning some children will finish more quickly while others will need more practice. ISR is dedicated to safety; therefore, we want to provide your child with the appropriate time and best opportunity to become proficient in his/her survival skills. We will always honor your child’s needs.

Yes. Consider that children learn to sit, crawl and walk before they learn to speak. Because we teach through sensorimotor learning, verbal skills are not required for a child to acquire Self-Rescue skills. We can communicate with our students through touch and positive reinforcement while striving to set our students up for success every step of the way.

Because 86% of children who fall in the water do so fully clothed, we want our students to have experience with such a situation. If a child has experienced the sensation of being in the water in clothing prior to an emergency situation, he/she is less likely to experience panic and be able to focus on the task at hand. If you have ever jumped in the water with clothes on, you know that there is a significant difference in weight and feel in clothing versus a bathing suit.

Swimming in clothes is part of ISR’s check out procedures, which a student completes near the end of his/her session when skills are fully shaped.

Based on our research, we know that refresher lessons are important because children change so much both cognitively and physically during the first 4-5 years of life. Their water survival skills must grow with their bodies.

Frequency depends on the child’s age, growth rate, skill level and confidence level. The goal of refresher lessons is to help your child adjust his/her new body size and weight to his/her 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 skills between seasons.

Every Certified Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) Instructor worldwide completes an 8-week intensive academic and in-water training and certification program with a minimum of 80 hours of in-water time with a Certified Master Instructor. All instructors must have current CPR and First Aid certification. Once certified, ISR Instructors must undergo annual recertification and are recognized as highly skilled, precise aquatic behavior specialists who understand the unique cognitive, intellectual and physical development dynamics of young children. Understanding the behaviors of children in the water allows each Instructor to respond with ISR’s proprietary technique.

There are many instructors who say they teach ISR techniques, however, unless they are listed on the official ISR website and meet the criteria below, they are NOT Certified ISR Instructors.

All Certified ISR Instructors:
– Have an email address ending in @infantswim.com
– Can provide parents with a copy of their current ISR Certificate for review
– Offer lessons five consecutive days per week, for a maximum of 10 minutes each day
– Will require your child to be registered online and approved for lessons through ISR’s Registration Evaluation Team
– Complete the Daily BUDS Discussion form with you prior to each lesson
– Can be found on the instructor locator at locator.infantswim.com

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