One of the top questions asked by parents is when they should introduce their baby to the water. Although babies can actually contract infections through pool water until they are about 2-3 months old, it’s important to start introducing them to water shortly after that period.
Becoming comfortable in the water and learning safe habits for the pool are important survival skills. Infants can actually start developing the ability to swim and self rescue themselves as early as 1 year old. But they won’t be able to acquire those skills until they are comfortable in the water.
ISR Swim Lessons
Infant Self Rescue swim lessons, also referred to as ISR swim lessons, are a form of infant swim lessons that focus on getting them comfortable enough in water to develop self saving skills. It’s understated, but drowning is the #1 unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1-4. Giving your child the aquatic experience and skills to get to a wall or stairs is the most important thing to keep them protected.
AAP, the American Academy of Pediatrics, has been critical of infant swim lessons, saying that there has yet to be empirical evidence that it is effective at preventing drowning. But this has been a contentious point of debate as many aquatics professionals state that the more experience an infant has in the water, the less they will panic. Panic and inexperience in the water usually leads to a quick fall underneath the surface followed by an immediate intake of water.
Infant swim lessons focus on familiarizing them with the sensation of going underwater, how to expel water from their face through “blowing bubbles,” and how to cover short distances before slipping underwater.
Creating a buffer between infants and parents
One thing that all parents should be warned about during their registration process is that infant swim lessons will include their baby getting uncomfortable and crying. They will be scared and cry the first time they go under water, they will not like being on their back with the water behind them. They might not even going into the pool because they don’t like the temperature, but it is important to their safety that they experience these things.
The benefit of choosing to do swim lessons instead of just teaching your baby yourself is that the swim instructor acts as a buffer between you and your child. Not to mention, Safety 1st Instructors are all extremely experienced and know exactly what your baby can and cannot handle. They know how to minimize the shock your baby is going to have after coming out of the water, calming them down and making the process less stressful for everyone.