News 4 Lifesaver

Apr 11, 2013 11:45 PM by Kristi Tedesco

I.S.R. teaches lifesaving skills

TUCSON - It is April and already this year we've had a child drown in Pinal County; A tragic reminder that we have to teach our kids water safety. And if they do fall in how to survive.

You may have seen the video clips of Infant Swim Self Rescue (ISR). It's the last line of defense after adult supervision and barriers.

"Because three years ago, we actually had a near drowning in our family," says Sarah Allen. She's still shaken by her older son's close call.

"He got in there before I got to check quick enough and we found him. Luckily he was alive. He was floating but it was traumatizing."

It's why her daughter Kate is signed-up for I.S.R.

The program was developed in 1966 by Dr. Harvey Barnett.

"After his infant neighbor drowned in a drainage ditch," explains JoAnn Barnett, ISR Co-founder. "The child was 9 months old."

The focus? Teach our youngest ones how to survive.

"Kids are going to water anyway. And unfortunately they don't have a natural respect for the water. If they did we wouldn't have over 4000 of them falling in and drowning every year."

"It is tough watching your child cry at first and watching them struggle," says Julee Degroat. Her six-month old son is in I.S.R. "But I mean ultimately, they're going to learn to save themselves if they were to fall in. And that's the most important thing to me."

Luke's learning to roll over and float on his back. This is his reflex after 2-lessons

"Amazing! I mean he's already floating," says Julee. "He floated for over 10 seconds. And he was yelling."

Making noise is a huge part of self rescue.

Shauna Quintero's son, Christian, crawled through a doggie door when he was 11-months old and nearly drowned.

He made no noise and was permanently injured. His little sister Lola is an I.S.R kid because barriers do fail.

"Gates failing. Kids pushing things up against gates," says Shauna. "And crawling over gates. Crawling under gates. Somebody left it open."

Click here to learn more about Infant Swim Resources in Tucson.


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