Summer is right around the corner and for most kids it means one thing: fun in the water! Whether it's the pool, a lake or the ocean, many kids count the days before they can jump in and have some fun. Unfortunately, with drowning being the number one cause of accidental death for children between the ages of 1 and 4 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water safety is a must.
And that's why I've always known that I wanted my children to be comfortable around water as early as possible. So, after doing some research, I found a swim program that teaches infants--as young as 6 month--the survival skills they'll need if they ever accidentally fall into a pool or any other body of water. Although controversial because up to recently the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended against such lessons for toddlers, I feel confident that I made the right choice.
I'm not going to lie, though. It wasn't easy watching my almost 2-year-old daughter cry and scream almost the entire 10 minutes her daily infant swim lessons lasted. But I had done the research and I knew it was the right thing to do, and so I kept bringing her back.
I've now had both my children go through the Infant Swim Resource program, which basically teaches kids "self-rescue" skills by teaching them to hold their breath when they go under water, roll on their backs and float without assistance until they are rescued. Older children are taught to alternate between swimming and rolling on their backs to float so they can rest until they get to the edge of the pool. The one-on-one classes are every day for only 10 minutes and can last between four and six weeks depending on your child's progress.
I've been totally amazed both times by what the instructors have taught my children and I will be forever grateful. Luckily, they've never had to put their skills to the test for real because regardless of what they've learned I'm still a huge believer that constant supervision is the only way to prevent any kind of tragedy.
Check out this video of my daughter floating on her back to get an idea of what I'm talking about.
What do you think about this method of teaching children survival skills in the water? Tell us by leaving us a comment.
Image via JAG Photography