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  • What training do ISR instructors have?
    ISR Instructors go through an extensive rigorous training that far exceeds any other training program of this kind. The training process that includes a minimum of 6 weeks in water with a Master Instructor working hands on with students daily, Monday through Friday.  As well, the academic component that is required includes: child psychology, anatomy, and physiology.  Our Instructors need to be insured and be current on CPR/First Aid/AED certification.
  • With safety skills being a priority: will my child actually learn to swim?
    Yes!  Children that can walk need to know how to swim.  This swim however will look different on each child.  Children closer to age 2 will learn to swim-float-swim, younger toddlers will learn swim-float-stay meaning that if they are not close enough after their first swim, they will stay on their back until picked up. Our pre-walkers can only learn rollback to float as they do not have the ability yet to pull themselves out of he water which makes the swimming skills at this developmental level dangerous and floating the safest option for them.
  • What is the retention rate with ISR lessons?
    ISR Self-Rescue® is taught on a sensorimotor level just as your child first learns to crawl, walk, or ride a bike and will not forget the skills they learn. However, as their body grows they may need slight adjustments to these skills. 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 children need to have lessons in clothing?
    Over 80% of the time an aquatic incident happens, it is when the child was not planned to be swimming and are therefore in clothing.  Once skilled in their swimsuit, it is essential for your child to feel the difference while safely, at an arms distance of their instructor, in their clothing.
  • Is ISR lessons given in groups?
    No, ISR lessons are always taught on a one-on-one and individualized basis so your child gets 100% of the attention in their lesson with an approach customized to how they learn best.
  • 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. 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. 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.
  • After my child's initial set of lessons, are follow-up lessons needed?
    We teach your child in the body they come to us in.  As their bodies grow and change, we do recommend 1-2x a month maintenance to keep up on their growth and/or behaviors they have begun at home that may not be conducive to their previously learned self-rescue skills.  We also offer skill advancement sessions to take your child to the next developmentally appropriate swimming level.
  • Will my child cry during lessons?
    With most of our students lacking the ability to fully verbally communicate, the easiest way for them to let you as their parent know that they are experiencing something that feels new and different is to cry.  We are strangers to them, we are non-verbally asking them to do something new, and they want your attention.  Crying is a very normal part of the learning process for a child not yet fully verbal.  However, as they grow to know and trust us, start believing in their skills, you’ll see the cries more often than not turn to smiles and high fives.  However, you know your child best, if they cry when not with you, odds are, the crying will linger but this will never impact your time in the pool with them at home.
  • 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.
  • Do parents get in the water?
    During our teaching, we do not have parents get in the pool.  You are their poolside cheerleader.  Once we have established skills, your instructor may invite you in the water once or twice to set you up for success when swimming with your little one.
  • 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. 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.
  • Why does ISR need my child's medical information?
    We need to know that every lessons is conducted in the safest manner possible, this requires understanding the whole child- including all developmental and health information.  Some children require additional protocols to keep their lessons even safer and we want to be sure we do our part.
  • What is ISR's position on floaties or life jackets?
    Flotation devices, such as puddle jumpers or noodles create a false sense of security for your child that just might have them enter the water expecting they can do the same with or without the device.  These devices teach the child to assume a vertical position (also known as the drowning position) to attain their air.  This is counterproductive to effective swimming and floating postures.  If your child thinks they can swim by way of a flotation device, your child is at higher risk of drowning and may take longer to teach to compensate for poorly taught body postures from the use of the device.  Life jackets however are required on open water while traveling by boat.  Be sure to have a US Coast Guard Approved life jacket and to let your Instructor know that your family boats often as we will want to test the efficacy of your life jacket in a lesson situation.
  • Do you teach children with disabilities?
    We do!  With our thorough registration review, our medical staff can determine your child’s readiness for lessons.  Sometimes this requires more information from you or your child’s physician.
  • 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.
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