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Infant Swim Self Rescue - anyone try it? - Page 3

post #41 of 52

You know, I can't find the originial post where she says there's no water near her...no clue where such a place would be, just what I understood what the poster was saying.


I'm doing swim lessons with my DD (4 months) because no matter how close you watch your child, accidents happen. They just happen, unfortunately. My mindset is better safe than sorry. And no one said that swim lessons are a replacement for watching your child.


Also, OP's child is 2.5 years which is a big difference than an infant so if you object to infant swim lessons, keep in mind the difference in cognitive and phyiscal abilities between an infant and a 2 year old.

post #42 of 52

I really really LOVED the ISR classes for my ds.  We have a pool and it was 100% worth it.  

post #43 of 52
Originally Posted by AdinaL View Post

You might try a search for ISR or Infant Swim here on MDC. There have been a lot of threads about it. That might help you get some more insight into it.  As I recall the general consensus was usually that they weren't a good idea.



The only people that I've seen on here that said they were no good, were also people that have never actually put their kids in the classes, and many don't understand exactly how they work. 


I looked into becoming an ISR instructor, its $10K, and months of training + ongoing training, its NOT "watch this 20min video at the YMCA, and yay now you can teach swimming lessons" (which I did when I was in high school).   


People seem to think its not a good idea b/c baby cries durring it:

1. only some cry

2. you'd let baby cry in the carseat, why b/c its a safety concern, I feel the same way about teaching them to swim.

3. its not a "I'm scared or hurt" cry, its a "holy crap this is a lot of work" cry (i.e. the way you feel in an exercise class when its just not fun, but worth it!)


And there are a lot of misconceptions - baby is not force into anything, thrown in the water, or anything awful.   They are VERY carefully monitored for signs of discomfort/distress/swallowing any water or air, body temperature, change in disposition, etc.   To have your kid in the class, you literally track every thing they eat/drink, when they last ate/slept/pooped/peed, medications, behavior, weather or not they went to sleep after the previous class, etc.   They are very very strict in making sure baby is safe to take the class each day. 

Its also 10min or less per day.  


My ds fell in the pool an arms length away from me, he was 15months old, fully dressed and 2 weeks into his ISR class. I  got to him in maybe 3 seconds, and in that time he had flipped to his back and was smiling.   This kid SCREAMED every ISR class for 6 weeks.  But after that, he loved the pool, he is an amazing swimmer, and is very confident.  He just turned 5 and will be on the swim team when school starts, he swims very well and still remembers his ISR training when he gets tired in the pool or tumbled in the ocean.  

post #44 of 52
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

I guess I'm more worried about getting in a car accident on my way to an ISR class than I am of my 7 month old finding himself in a situation in which he could drown but would save himself thanks to his newly learned ISR skills. Statistically that seems more probable. To each their own.


In florida, drowning is the #1 cause of death, car accidents are number 2.  True in 1 other state as well, but in all states drowning and car accidents are in the top 2.   Thats why ds rode in his properly installed, rearfacing carseat to all of his ISR lessons (and he has a carseat tech for a mommy!)

post #45 of 52
Thread Starter 
Well, we've been going for almost three weeks now. My son still enjoys his lessons. He giggles and plays a lot!

The ISR instructor uses his playfulness to "bribe" him to do the activities he doesn't enjoy as much. For example, if he floats on his back then she will let him play with a water toy for a minute.

Ive noticed that some other kids cry during lessons, the younger kids. But the type of crying is not that panicked screaming cry, it's more of a whine or whimper. So no doubt the method makes some kids uncomfortable and thus some parents uncomfortable. But from everything I've seen, it's very safe and gentle.
post #46 of 52

Infant Swim Self Rescue - Be careful. 


I have twice witnessed an "Infant Swim Self Rescue" teacher submerge a screaming infant several times during these "self rescue" sessions. This was not the cry of "wow this is hard" but the scream of a child in distress. I do know the difference. 


I can understand how mothers who have put their children through this program are wanting to defend it. Not defending it implies that you made a poor choice. I also saw two mothers sit beside the pool and watch their infants - under one year old - scream and cry while being ruthlessly submerged by a completely heartless man. I believe they think they are doing the right thing. If you had a good instructor, I am glad for you. What I have seen has not been good at all. It is cruel. 


Would you hit your child? Some people believe that hitting a child is OK if it teaches them something important. I do not think it is ever OK to hit a child. 

Would you ask a stranger to pick up your child from the curb and then beat them, to teach them not to get into cars with strangers? No, that would be absurd, cruel, immoral, and negligent. Still some mothers will sit beside a pool and watch a stranger put their infant in distress, and then put the infant's head and body under water WHILE the child is crying. This is child abuse pure and simple. 


No one has yet explained to me what value there might be in submerging a distressed infant. The only response I have gotten, is that this is the man's technique. The technique makes me ill. Speak up mothers, if you see your infant being abused in this way, it is your right to step into the pool and say enough is enough! Do not let it go too far. 


If you want to teach your child to swim, great. I brought my son to swimming lessons from 9 months of age, and I am always very careful with him in water. I am always an arms length away from him, even now at 4 years of age. I see too many mothers blithely thinking their children under 6 can "swim" just because they haven't yet drowned. Children do not have the motor control to deal with any unusual situation that might occur in water. If they haven't drowned, it is pure luck. Even the Infant Swim Self Rescue site says, there is no substitute for good supervision. 


Please protect and nurture your kids. Thats all I can say. Don't let the assumed authority of a swim instructor confuse your mothering instincts to protect and nurture your child. Speak up when enough is enough. 

post #47 of 52
Thread Starter 
Still no crying or screaming. He's having a good time learning swimming survival skills.
post #48 of 52

@Shocked, Seeing One bad instructor does not make the entire program bad.  You say the only reason people are defending the program is to prove that they did not make a bad decision.  I assure you that I am not defending this program ultimately to defend my decision.  I believe that my son's instructor did a wonderful job teaching him to swim.  No other program worked for him.  Albeit, he was 2.5 years old at the time so I cannot comment on how it would have been had he been an infant.  (The OP's child was also 2.5 yrs old.)  Not once did he act like he was in distress.  In fact, he loved the swim lessons so much that he cried WHEN THE LESSONS WERE OVER.  They are so short, only 10 minutes.  He just wanted to keep on going.  On top of that, he has been swimming like a fish ever since.  It did not traumatize him in any way, shape or form.  Of my friends that have used the program with kids that cried in the beginning, they were happy & smiling by mid-way through the program.  The youngest child was 18 months.  By the end they were fine and I assure you none of them have been traumatized. 

post #49 of 52

Amyla, I am glad that you are so present for your child and clearly taking the issue seriously. You don't have to defend this program or your instructor. If your instructor and your experience is good, I am glad. 


The Infant Swim Self Rescue organization, however, uses every tactic in the book to manipulate people into believing that what they do is right, and they have their staunchest defenders among mothers who have put their children through the program. Even a superficial search into their online presence proves this. All of their sites say the very same thing, baseless claims about saving kids from drowning. They use what is called a "Google bomb" to control the information that people can access about the program. They use proven psychological techniques to manipulate and control what people believe about the program. 


I do not suggest that every class with every instructor is bad. Nor do I think that you have done anything wrong in placing your 2.5 year old in lessons with a good teacher. But what I have seen this bad instructor do to infants in the pool, on two separate occasions, is clearly child abuse. And he has control of the mothers of these children. He has them believing that they are doing something good for their babies, to the point where they even video tape the screaming child in swimming lessons. He grins when he puts a crying child under water. He feels a sense of power in the shock and the manipulation that is involved in this darkest aspect of this particular type of swim training. 


The ends do not justify the means. If someone thinks that submerging a screaming child is justified by the hope that this process will teach the child how to save himself or herself in the water, they are seriously mistaken. Especially in the case of infants who cannot walk or talk. It is ludicrous to think we would expect them to save themselves in the water. I say this more for the mothers who need to wake up, than for you, Amyla.


Our society doesn't allow water boarding of suspected terrorists, and yet some people think it is OK to submerge a crying child. I don't believe you would ever want to see this in a pool. I'm still shaking when I think about it. 


I repeat: There is no scientific proof that this technique saves any children's lives. 

post #50 of 52
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by shocked View Post

There is no scientific proof that this technique saves any children's lives. 

Acually, there is proof that swim lessons reduce the risk of drowning.


The CDC specifically says:


"Formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by as much as 88% among young children aged 1 to 4 years, who are at greatest risk of drowning."


link: http://www.cdc.gov/features/drowningprevention/

post #51 of 52

Marsupial mom, of course swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning.


There is no evidence that submerging crying infants reduces the risk of drowning. There is no evidence that the Infant Swim Self Rescue approach is any better at reducing the risk of drowning than regular swimming lessons. 


When an instructor tells you not to get upset when you see your child crying in the water, he is preparing you to accept that he will do something terrible to your child so that you won't stop him from doing it. He knows that he has the power in that situation and that you won't say anything about it. What is in it for him? A parlour trick, a chance to impress you and win your praise with the illusion that he has done something profound for your child, when in fact, all he has done is manipulate you into giving your most precious baby over to him to abuse. The more shocking the behaviour, the greater the praise, the more power he feels. He is gratified by the fact that he can convince mothers that the shocking reality of putting their crying baby under water will in the end win him praise. And the basis for that praise is a false illusion of saving the infant from some future possibility of drowning... The founder of the Infant Swim Self Rescue organization has a PhD in Fundamental Psychology. This is a branch of psychology that studies how to manipulate people into believing things that seem unbelievable and doing things they would never ordinarily do. He is not a paediatrician, he is a trickster, and he has abused the purpose of that field of study by using it to manipulate people instead of using that knowledge to educate people in how not to be manipulated. 


All I am suggesting is that you examine the situations in which you find yourself with your baby and think critically about what is going on. If you are in any way uncomfortable with the idea of putting your child in distress and then placing them under water, politely and respectfully decline the swimming lesson. Forewarned is forearmed.


I've said everything I need to say on this issue. Keep your wits about you, mothers.

post #52 of 52
Thread Starter 

I don't know how many times I'll have to remind people in this thread that my son who is taking these lessons is nearly 3. He is NOT a baby.


It's great that some people come to this thread with information and advice, but it would be nice if they actually read some of our conversation before chiming in. For the nth time, it's called "Infant Swim Self Rescue" but it's for ages 6 months to 6 years. I'm guessing that the majority of students in these classes are toddlers, not babies. Maybe a moderator could edit the thread title to say ISSR instead of "Infant Swim Self Rescue" so that people can see that we're talking mostly about toddlers, not infants.

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