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Infant Swim Resource

March 9, 2012

Mia enjoying underwater swimming thanks to ISR.

It was only for a second. I turned away for a brief moment to grab my water bottle. When I turned back around, my 1-year-old daughter, Mary-Allison, was leaning over our swimming pool, attempting to push her blow-up boat into the pool. She was inches away from falling head first into the pool. I panicked—really panicked, worse than I ever had in the short time of being a parent. I ran to my daughter and hurriedly scooped her up in my arms.


I held Mary-Allison and cried. How could I have let this happen? I know all the rules about keeping an eye on your child at all times. How could I have almost allowed a near-drowning experience happen to my precious child? I called my husband at work and told him we had to do whatever it took to make sure this would never happen again.


The first step my husband and I took was to install a child safety gate around our pool. The second step was to talk with a friend whose child had gone through a program called Infant Swimming Resource (ISR). Her passion about the program was contagious, and I searched the ISR web site for more information. We enrolled Mary-Allison (and our second child, as well), and it has been one of the best decisions we have yet to make for our children.


Infant Swimming Resource is specialized aquatic survival instruction for babies and toddlers between 6 months and 4 years old. The program, developed by Dr. Harvey Barnett, is a product of over 40 years of scientific research, and the only swimming method with a perfect safety record. ISR has delivered over 6 million lessons throughout the United States, providing lessons that combine the joys of swimming with developmentally-appropriate instruction for self-rescue skills.


Infant Swimming Resource lessons are one-on-one lessons with a highly trained and certified ISR instructor. Each instructor has a minimum of 60 hours of supervised in-water training, plus education and testing in subjects such as child psychology, physiology, and behavioral science. In addition, each instructor must complete re-certification each year to maintain her affiliation with the ISR program.


ISR lessons are individualized for each child’s needs, abilities, age, and developmental issues. Lessons are approximately 10 minutes in length each day for 5 days a week. Children may begin lessons at 6 months of age up until 6 years of age. Infants 6 to 12 months learn to hold their breath underwater, roll onto their back, and float unassisted. Infants over 1 year learn the following sequence: how to hold their breath underwater; swim with their head down; roll onto their back to float, rest, and breath; and roll back over to resume swimming until they reach the side of the pool and can crawl out or be rescued by an adult. This sequence is called the “swim-float-swim” sequence by ISR. Because 86 percent of children who fall into the pool are fully clothed, children learn how to perform the swim-float-swim sequence in different types of clothing. For full efficiency and retention of skills, ISR lessons take approximately four to six weeks.


The ISR program focuses on educating parents about safety issues and aquatic survival, as well as training children. Upon registration of ISR lessons each parent receives a “Parent Resource Book.” This book helps provide parents with some of the factual information about the research, data, and knowledge supporting ISR. Parents also receive forms, called BUDS sheets. BUDS stands for “bowel, urine, diet, sleep.” A “BUD” sheet must be filled out prior to each lesson. This sheet tracks the unique physiology of each child, including bowel movements, frequency of urination, the diet and times of eating, and the duration of every sleep episode in a 24-hour period. Before each lesson, the instructor will review the BUD sheet, ask the parent further questions if necessary, and then individualize the lesson for the infant or child. The BUD sheet provides a safe, more efficient, and more individualized lesson for each child.


Stats & Info

  • ISR is the only national swimming method of its kind that emphasizes developmentally-appropriate instruction focused on self-rescue skills.
  • ISR has more than 40 years of scientific development behind its methodology.
  • ISR has delivered over 6 million lessons to more than 150,000 infants and children.
  • ISR has more than 250 highly qualified, certified instructors nationwide.
  • ISR provides one-on-one instruction that includes a comprehensive health screening for each child.
  • ISR is the nation’s only medically-sound, behaviorally-based swim instruction program.
  • ISR is the only infant swim program to be recognized by the State Board of Medical Examiners for continuing medical education in Florida, California, Colorado, and Arizona.
  • ISR has a record of 100 percent effectiveness rate and zero injuries or deaths.
  • ISR has 2,400 documented cases of a child using ISR techniques for self-rescue.

For more information on Infant Swimming Resource, water and swim safety, or to find an ISR instructor in your area, visit

[Source: Infant Swim Resource, All information used with permission.]

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2012 11:05 am

    ISR has been a blessing in my family’s life! We lived in FL where we had the incredible Amy Mann as an instructor when my daughter was 1 year old. We moved to AL and my younger daughter had Mr. Tim and Miss Missy who taught her the swim-float-swim technique. I swear all ISR instructors have angel wings. What they are doing for our children is a priceless gift. If your child does not know how to swim, PLEASE go to the national website and find the nearest ISR instructor.

    And for anyone who worries if the lessons will cause your child not to like swimming: both my children LOVE the water and swim on year round swim team.

    Thank you, Christi, for spreading the word! GREAT POST.

  2. Carrie permalink
    March 9, 2012 11:35 am

    I love ISR for our little girl! I can’t thank Christi enough for sharing her experience. It is worth every penny and then some to know that your child has been taught survival tools should they fall in the water.

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