Kathy Cole, Master Instructor, ISR Fort Myers LLC
                                               Kathy Cole, Master Instructor, ISR Fort Myers LLC

Frequently Asked Questions

 

I hear you say your priority is survival skills. Will my child learn to actually swim?

Yes.  At ISR Self-Rescue®, we believe that part of survival for a child who can walk is swimming.  Children learn the swim-float-swim sequence so that they could get themselves to safety.  The difference in our program is that they will learn swimming AND survival skills and how to be an aquatic problem solver.

What is the retention rate with ISR lessons?

ISR Self-Rescue® claims a retention rate of 94-100% for 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 ISR Self-Rescue® Skills.  Contacting and/or returning to your instructor in a timely manner is imperative to maintaining effective habits.

Why do you have children swim in clothes?

Because most 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 sensations 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, then you know that there is a significant difference in weight and feel with clothes as opposed to a bathing suit.

Lesson Scheduling

Why are lessons 5 days per week and for only 10 minutes?

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 pool temperature is still lower than your child's body temperature.  Lessons are work and therefore the child will also be losing body heat.  Instructors check students regularly for temperature fatigue since this is an indicator of physical fatigue.

Why does it take 4-6 weeks for my child to learn this?

The 4-6 weeks is an estimate that is based on the average time in which it takes most children to learn these survival skills.  Every child is unique and ISR’s Self-Rescue® program is specifically designed based on your child’s individual strengths and needs.  

Generally, infants under 12 months learning to rollback and float need about 4-5 weeks, whereas children 12 to 24 months need about 6 weeks to master the swim-float-swim sequence.  Children 2-1/2 to age 6 generally need about 4-5 weeks to master the swim-float-swim sequence.  

It is important to realize that this is an average, which means that some children will actually finish more quickly while others will need more practice.  ISR Self-Rescue® is dedicated to safety and, therefore, we want to provide your child with the time and best opportunity to become proficient in his/her survival skills.  We will always honor your child’s needs.

Do you have children that just can’t learn the skills?

No.  Every child can learn.  It is my job to find the best way to communicate the information so that it makes sense to the child.  I set your child up to be successful every time, always starting where they are.

Benefits

Why should parents enroll their children in ISR lessons?

ISR Self-Rescue® parents enroll their children because they understand their children's abilities and want to give them every opportunity to learn.  They also feel it is important to teach their children how to help themselves should they find themselves alone in the water.  Research shows that there are better times to learn certain things and swimming is best learned early in life.

What other benefits do the ISR lesson experience provide students?

Every child is unique.  However, many parents report that once their young children have mastered learning to swim, the resulting confidence in their abilities creates a positive self-concept that is often demonstrated in other aspects of their personalities.  There are also obvious health and other psychological gains.

Safety and Health

Are ISR Self-Rescue® swimming lessons safe for infants and young children?

YES!  ISR is dedicated to safety and maintaining numerous safety protocols to promote safe lessons.  Your child's health and well-being are our highest priority and are closely monitored on a daily basis.  In addition, your child's medical and developmental history is a mandatory part of the ISR national registration process, all of which is held strictly confidential.

All ISR Self-Rescue® Instructors undergo an intensive and rigorous training that far exceeds any other training program of this kind.  Each ISR Instructor is also required to attend a yearly re-certification 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" that is 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.

What is the AAP’s position on swimming lessons for young children?

In May of 2010, the AAP changed its policy regarding the age at which children may start swimming lessons; based on research stating that swim lessons may actually provide reduction in drowning risk of children ages 1- to 4-years-old.  

That study, “Association Between Swimming Lessons and Childhood Drowning” published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, March, 2009, by Brenner et. al. was the first study to probe the relationship between drowning reduction and swimming skills.  The study concluded that, “Participation in formal swimming lessons was associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in the 1- to 4-year-old children...”

The AAP encourages parents to consider that starting water-survival skills training at an early age must be individualized, based on the child's frequency of exposure to water, emotional maturity, physical limitations and health concerns related to swimming pools.

Will my child fear the water because of lessons?

There is an important difference between being fearful, and being apprehensive because you are not yet skilled in a new environment.  ISR is not like traditional swim lessons; it is a drowning prevention program that teaches survival swimming.  Sometimes as a parent, you make choices for your child’s safety, like sitting in a car seat, because you know they are important.  The same can be said for ISR.

Once competent in their skills, many children cannot be dragged away from the pool.  They are having entirely too much FUN.

Why do the babies cry?

Babies don’t yet have the verbal skills to express themselves, and crying is a completely normal reaction for a young child who is in a new and challenging situation.  However, as the child’s skills increase in the pool, the fussing will decrease.
 

 

 

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