Infant swim resource teaches children how to float

Published: Jul. 10, 2022 at 8:49 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The American Council of Pediatrics lists drowning as the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4.

That fact led Courtney Dimpel’s to enroll her son in Infant Swim Resource, ISR, lessons nearly a decade ago.

After her best friend tragically lost her son 3 summers ago, she felt the urge to do something, so she got certified to be an ISR instructor.

She’s teaching her first 6-week session right here in the Mid-South.

Dimpel said “I felt a little guilty on my part. I put my son through it. Why didn’t I scream this more to my friends? I know I put those videos on Facebook but was that enough?”

ISR sometimes referred to as “infant self-rescue” aren’t your typical swimming lesson.

They’re meant to teach children 6 months and older how to survive if they find themselves alone in the water.

Dimpel said she really saw the results when her son, an ISR graduate, drove his power wheels jeep into her pool when she looked away for just a few seconds.

It went upside down and I’m walking out of the backdoor watching it all happen. As I jumped into the pool to get him, he’s coming out of the jeep and going straight into his float.”

That float her son did is the first step for all ISR lessons to simulate what it would be like to fall into the water and how to turn over and float to conserve energy.

“A few tears were definitely worth it if it puts her in a position to save herself if the need ever arises,” said Katy McAlexander who is a parent.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said swim lessons can reduce the overall risk of drowning by 88 percent, but they also say there isn’t enough evidence to support the use of ISR over any other type of swimming lesson.

For parents with kids who aren’t old enough for conventional swim lessons, ISR is filling a gap and giving them peace of mind.

Laura Schuh said, “Knowing that something could happen in the blink of an eye you want to be prepared. You do everything you can when they’re this little to just be prepared and know you’ve done everything you can do to keep them safe.”

The lessons aren’t an overnight success story, either.

Each session lasts 10 minutes, and they happen daily for 6 weeks.

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