Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Starting Infant Self Rescue Swim Lessons

I recently started looking into swim lessons for Knox – mostly because I thought it would be a fun thing for us to do together, and I’d enjoy meeting some people with babies his age to play with.  But as I started doing some research, I came across something called “Infant Self Rescue” swim lessons, and I knew immediately that it was something we had to do.  Babies can start lessons as young as 6 months of age (Knox is 7  months) and it teaches them how to survive if they fall into a body of water alone.  They learn how to turn themselves over in the water and float calmly on their back until help arrives.  Before “graduating”, they must perform this skill fully clothed because the weight of clothing plus a regular diaper is much different than just a swim suit.  At around 15 months of age, they learn how to swim a few strokes, then turn over and float to catch their breath, then swim some more until they reach a place they can safely get out of the water.  It is absolutely amazing that babies can learn this! 

This is the video I came across that convinced me that we needed to do this with Knox.  After watching this and thinking about how many drowning children I’ve seen at the hospital, there was no way I’d be able to live with myself if something happened to Knox and I hadn’t given him the skills he’d need to survive. 

Our classes are private 10 minute lessons Monday through Thursday for 4 to 6 weeks, depending on how long he needs to master the skills.  Yesterday was our first day, and I thought they’d just start by getting him comfortable in the water.  Nope!  They jumped right in and started working on teaching him how to roll over from face down in the water into a float.  Logan left work early to be there, and I was so thankful that he was!  As I sat there by the pool crying my eyes out watching them put my baby face down in the water, I had to remind myself why I was doing this.  Throughout Knox’s life there will be things I do for him that are not easy, but are for his benefit – and this is one of them.  Logan smiled at me and told me that while he was there to support Knox, he was really there more for me!  He knew I’d be a wreck.  :)

I was too busy crying yesterday to take any video of the swim lesson, but I did get a couple of pictures.
4.  Day 1 self rescue swim lessons 1.  Knox's first self rescue swim lesson 2.  Day 1 of self rescue swim lessons 3.  Day 1 infant self rescue swim lessons I’ll continue to post videos of Knox’s progress, because I think I’ll enjoy looking back and being able to see how he improves.  Here is the video from today, Day 2 of lessons. 

Drowning is the number 1 killer for children under 5 years in 18 states.  The water should be a fun place for kids… but unless they can save themselves if something happened, it’s a very dangerous place.  I’d encourage anyone with children to enroll them in a self rescue swim class. 



1 comment:

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