LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) — A Lubbock family holds their little one tighter, after their 18-month-old child nearly drowned on Monday.
As the weather warms up and families begin to prep their pools, Lubbock moms are encouraging them to take every precaution. One guarantee, baby swimming lessons, can provide precious seconds in an emergency.
According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages one to four. Lubbock’s mom, Kristin Proctor, is working to lower those numbers through prevention. She is a certified master instructor for the Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) self-rescue program. She says that in addition to teaching children to swim and have fun, she teaches them to survive.
“Certainly having your child involved in something is better than nothing, but what I’m watching, does it teach safety, or does it teach them to have fun? Water should be fun, but making sure they have the skills to support that fun is obviously most important,” she said.
The ISR Self-Rescue Program is a four to eight week course for children aged six months to six years. Private lessons last 10 minutes a day, five days a week. Toddlers who aren’t yet walking learn to hold their breath underwater and roll onto their back to float until someone can reach them. Older children learn to switch between swimming and floating until they get to where they want or need to be.
“You’re asking them to do something completely new and foreign, which probably nobody’s ever asked them to do before, but as they get more skills behind them, they build on those skills and you start to seeing their happiness increase. suddenly they get into the water one day, and they’re wild. They’re everywhere and look amazing,” she said.
Proctor has accompanied her own children on the program, so she knows what it’s like to see the transformation. For some parents, like Alyssa Willis, training can be a little scary at first. But, she says, her daughter Brooke learned quickly and seeing this result was worth it.
“It was scary but I’d rather be a little nervous in a controlled situation with professionals and she’s coming to understand and learn, compared to what happened in my in-laws pool when there wasn’t. there’s no one around and horrible things could happen,” Willis mentioned.
Willis knows families who have experienced drowning. She says it can happen to even the most observant parents.
“It takes a few seconds. I think the most beneficial thing with ISR is that it gives me precious seconds because it will float automatically and it just gives me more time if something horrible happens,” she said.
Sarah Metzler says her daughter Blakely’s personality has played a role in her getting into SRI, as well as how often she’s near water.
“She’s not scared and so I knew she would jump in the water. So for me it really wasn’t a question. She has to do something like that,” Metzler said. parents have a pool. My parents live by the lake. So there’s a lot of water around. I just think it gives parents such peace of mind when you have your child around the water, and it helps them understand water and just gives them the skills they need.
Proctor warns of the false security parents can get from devices like floats.
“They will usually put that child in flotation devices, which will take them to an upright position, also called a drowning position. They can’t walk on water like an adult could, they’re not able to maintain that body posture right there, as opposed to a horizontal body posture that can support a float,” Proctor said. “Another thing about different flotation devices is that unfortunately a child doesn’t realize when they take it off, it’s off and that’s what was doing the work for you, not yourself. “
Proctor says supervision is still the number one way to make sure kids are safe. She recommends other protective measures like putting up a pool fence, a pool cover and setting up alarms.
Supervisor and ISR instructor Tye Basquez, whom she trained, have openings for their July self-rescue program. She says to make sure instructors are ISR certified through their website before signing up for classes.
Copyright 2022 KCBD. All rights reserved.