According to experts, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death of children aged 1 to 3 in over 30 states. Because of this, more and more parents are beginning to take part in a new program called Infant Swimming Resource (ISR), a class that is specifically designed to help small children learn how to react if they ever find themselves in an emergency situation while in the water.
The structured lessons take place in only 10 minute spurts, as the instructors do not want to overwhelm the child or put them in any actual danger. While in the pool, kids are instructed in different ways to hold their breathe, kick to the surface of the water and even use their natural buoyancy to keep themselves above the water line until help can arrive. Parents are allowed to watch, but cannot interfere.
Babies and kids take these classes five days a week for six weeks, with the 10 minute intervals never increasing or decreasing. According to a poll from the Today Show Parents website, 88 percent of moms and dads would let their child participate in the IRS survival program, believing that it would offer invaluable techniques that could one day save their child's life.
"Children are sensory motor geniuses," IRS instructor Barbara Gorman tells CBS Philly. "And so our instruction is through touch and the senses and how we place them in the water, the gentle feedback we give them on their heads, their necks, their backs, their shoulders. The way we work with them and the water currents to teach them the correct swimming postures and movement in the water."
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