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ISR is nationally recognized as the safest survival swim program for infants and children.  


  • THE RISK:  Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death in children 1-4 years old.  The AAP recently updated their policy statement on drowning prevention. 

 “Research has found that swim lessons are beneficial for children starting around age 1, and may lower drowning rates”, said Linda Quan, MD, FAAP, a co-author of the policy statement.  Learning to swim is a great family activity,” said Dr. Quan. “Families can talk with their pediatrician about whether their child is developmentally ready for swim lessons, and then look for a program that has experienced, well-trained instructors. Ideally, programs should teach ‘water competency’ too – the ability to get out of the water if your child ends up in the water unexpectedly.”

  • ISR REGISTRATION PROCESS:  Parents are asked to document their child's detailed health history and current health status, such as whether a child has any allergies, takes any medication, or has ever been hospitalized.   The answers to these questions determine if it is safe for a child to participate, and allow us to individualize each ISR lesson to meet the health and safety needs of each individual child.  Every ISR student's information is reviewed by a team of professionals, including a pediatric nurse. 

  • INSTRUCTOR TRAINING:  Each certified ISR instructor completes a rigorous, 8-week in-water and academic training in anatomy, physiology, child psychology, development, behavior and sensorimotor learning, and how each relates to the aquatic environment. We participate in a highly specialized annual recertification to maintain the highest level of safety and caliber of instruction. Each instructor is CPR and first aid certified. Melissa is also an Occupational Therapist, and Kristine is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, both with a background in pediatrics, which affords us added knowledge and experience working with children with a variety of abilities and learning styles.​

    Before each lesson,  instructors ask a series of questions about the student's health, habits and activities in the previous 24 hours.  During this discussion, parents are asked about the child’s urination and bowel movements, eating, and sleeping habits.  We ask these questions to learn about a child's "typical" day and assure that they are safe to participate in lessons on that particular day. In addition to bowel, urination, diet, and sleep information, parents are also asked daily about medications, allergic reactions, recent doctor's visits, injuries, fevers, vomiting, and illnesses since the previous lesson.   Instructors may hold a lesson, shorten a lesson, or alter the pace of the lesson as necessary in order to ensure safety on that particular day, and also have resources available poolside regarding how certain conditions and medications may affect the lesson. 

  • THE 10 MINUTE LESSON:  ISR lessons are 5 days per week, 10 minutes maximum.  The reason for this is multifaceted: 

    • Short frequent lessons maximize learning efficiency

    • Although the water is heated, it is lower than a child's body temperature.  Like any exercise, swimming causes the loss of body heat, which leads to muscle fatigue.  Not only does muscle fatigue reduce learning efficiency swimming while fatigued can be dangerous.  If a student becomes too cold, their lesson is ended.  

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  • MONITORING FOR FATIGUE: Instructors will monitor for temperature or physical fatigue throughout the lesson with vasoconstriction checks. Instructors also monitor skin color, level of alertness, muscle strength, and coordination throughout the lesson. Lessons will be stopped if the Instructor determines the student’s fatigue level is outside of normal parameters.

  •  MANAGING ABDOMINAL DISTENTION: Students may gulp air or occasionally sip water at the surface while learning swimming and floating skills. If not relieved, this air or water in the abdomen may cause discomfort, vomiting, or significant physical changes, due to pressure on the vagus nerve.   ISR Instructors are trained specifically to monitor and manage this type of situation. A lesson may be stopped if abdominal distention cannot be relieved through burping. Vomiting is not a normal part of the lesson experience

  • MAINTAINING POOL CLEANLINESS: ISR’s safety protocols not only ensure student safety, but also help to keep the pool free of contaminants that can cause the spread of illness.

    • 48 HOUR WAITING PERIOD for fever, vomitting, or diarrhea

    • SKIN RASH PROTOCOL: Rashes of unknown origin must be diagnosed and free of compromised skin integrity

    • 2 REUSABLE DIAPER REQUIREMENT for children not potty trained > 6 months

    • DIETARY RESTRICTION:  Children do not eat 1.5  to 2 hours prior to lessons to avoid vomitting/spitting up when exercising 

    • 3 TOWEL RULE:  Children lie on their left side to recover from lessons.. Towel 1 is a barrier to prevent person to person contact on the deck surface and allows for the prevention of disease transmission. Towel 2 is for absorption of pool water,  Towel 3 is for drying and warming after the lesson.  

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