A Mom’s Guide to Infant Swim Rescue

We all want our children to be safe. With that in mind, we as moms get nervous when our children try new things, go on adventures of their own, or venture out into the unknown. I am not going to lie: Having my young daughter in a pool is scary to me. I have worked at an Aquatic Center, and I have seen the dangers that come with water fun. But, there are ways to protect your child and be prepared.188

What is Infant Swim Rescue?

Infant Swim Rescue is a type of swim lesson specifically designed to help in drowning prevention. The belief is that children are capable of learning how to escape a dangerous water situation if you teach how to take the preliminary steps to get help. The lessons are taught on a one-on-one basis, and can begin at 6 months of age. Children under 12 months simply learn to roll to their backs, float, rest and breathe. Children ages 1 to 6 years old learn a safe sequence of swimming, rolling to their back, and rolling back to their stomach to continue swimming to get to help.

Pros and Cons

These lessons teach valuable life-saving skills. My daughter did traditional swim lessons at 10 months of age with me, and we never achieved a whole lot. We played in the water, mostly. I would have loved for her to have been able to learn more about floating on her back and resting in the water.  Also, the one-on-one ratio is awesome. Individualized instruction allows the child to focus on the lessons, and achieve more throughout the class.

However, the IRS classes aren’t as widely available as traditional swim lessons. It doesn’t seem like a widespread resource just yet. Also, the child would not have the social interaction of having lessons with other children. One review I saw of the lessons called them “abusive” and said their child was “thrown into the deep end on the first day.” There is some controversy over whether or not the lessons create a false sense of security around water.

What to Look for in an Instructor

If you do choose to look into these lessons, make sure you find an instructor who is certified in Infant Swim Rescue. You may want to find a certain gender to make your child feel more comfortable.  Look for instructors with experience and good reviews. On this website, you can find the instructor and view a website or get more information.

I definitely suggest doing some sort of swim lessons early on with your child and teaching them some safety techniques. It only takes seconds for a child to drown.

Karyn is a mom of 1 and 1 on the way. She has been a certified lifeguard and took swim lessons as a child. She definitely will teach her children water safety and how to have fun in the water, too.

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