Last updated on Jun 11th, 2021 at 11:31 am
Babies live in water while they’re in utero, so it only makes sense that they would know how to survive even outside their amniotic sack in water. This, however, will require some training.
Self-rescue survival lessons are an important part of every child’s life. Drowning accidents are the leading cause of death in children under the age of four.
Is it enough that children can swim, or do they need more lessons on surviving in the water?
Anneliza Vd Schyff is a Certified ISR instructor and is based in Zwartkop, Centurion. She expalins that ISR self-rescue swimming is not the same as swimming lessons. It’s lessons that teach kids what to do if they ever encounter a problem while in the pool or if they accidentally fall inside. It does not involve floaties or teaching them different strokes.
ALSO SEE: Swimming safety tips for kids
The survival swimming program is a 5-7 week course, scheduled five days per week, Monday through to Friday. The lessons are for 10 minutes each day. “Children as young as 6-months can be on the program learning the skill of rolling onto their backs to float, rest, and breathe. They learn to maintain this position until help arrives,” Anneliza says.
According to Anneliza, older children learn the “sequence of swimming until they need air, rotating onto their back to float, then rolling back over to continue swimming.”
ISR instructors are well trained, meaning that parents can have the confidence of knowing that their children are in safe hands. Parents are also educated as part of the program because “your education in the area of aquatic safety for your entire family is an integral part of your child’s lessons” Anneliza says.