Can Your Child Help Themselves in an Aquatic Emergency?


Not One More Child Drowns….Can Your Child Help Themselves in an Aquatic Emergency?


As a parent, you always think you will watch over your children and not let the unthinkable happen when it comes to drowning. The fact is that our children are curious and adventurous! That moment when you are in another room and your child comes in with colored pen all over themselves…be thankful it was just pen as that is the same amount of time a child can find their way into the water.


Not One More Child Drowns is the motto for ISR (Infant Swimming Resource). ISR is the pioneer of Self-Rescue lessons for children as young as 6 months old – 6 years old and has been around for over 50 years. ISR is the global leader with over 600 instructors, in 16 countries, having taught over 9 million safe lessons so children have the skills needed to save themselves should they find themselves in an aquatic emergency.


I am a mother of three that formerly lived in Tucson, AZ with an amazing career as a High-Risk Labor and Delivery Nurse. Our three young children went through ISR and I loved watching every moment of their progress. When our second son was 18 months old, my husband and I were in our yard talking……no music, no party or distractions….we thought we were in our yard alone when all of a sudden our son walked up to us soaking wet in his winter clothes! We saw nothing, heard nothing but by the grace of God, he was skilled to save himself! When we asked what happened, he pointed to the pool. Fast forward to 2010…we moved back to California and ISR was not being taught in our area so I quickly left my career as a Nurse and went through the extensive training to become a Certified ISR Instructor.


I am blessed to work with young children in our community and teach them ISR Self-Rescue skills. I have worked with several families that have lost a child to drowning or have had a child nearly drown that survived with life long debilitations from the near drowning event. I love when I get calls from my swim families telling me how much their child is loving the water or the stories of when they have had to use their skills to get themselves out of the water from an accidental fall in rather than becoming a statistic to the number one cause of death in children 4 and under.


The beauty of having a child with ISR skills is that your child learns to respect the water and has the ability to make decisions independently in that one moment that no one is there. Babies 6 months old till walking independently learn a stable float and how to get to their float. Children walking and up, learn to swim, roll over to a float to rest and breath and flip back over to a swim and repeat that process to get themselves out of a pool. Sooo many people rely on puddle jumpers or floaties when around the water (which is a law when on a boat) but for “swimming” in a pool, this is only hindering a child and giving them a false definition of what it is to be in the water. These devise teach a child how to be “independent”, shows them water is fun, and makes them think they can breathe in the water. What a child doesn’t realize is that the floaties are what makes all that happen and when they venture out when no one is looking, the unthinkable can happen in a split second. On the flip side (pun intended) an ISR skilled child that ventures out is going to look at the water and decide if they want to go in or not. Going in means they have to work and do their skills independently….a decision they can safely make in that moment no one is looking.

If you would like to find an instructor near you, you can go to our main website at and plug in your zip code to find a Certified ISR Instructor near you. If you are in the Inland Empire are, I am happy to get your precious child skilled.


Live Like Jake is a foundation out of Florida that has joined forces with ISR to raise awareness of childhood drowning. Live Like Jake is currently running a survey and actively gathering responses from the survey but I wanted to share some of the statistics that they have gathered so far. These responses are from 120 parents that have had a child(ren) experience a drowning accident both fatal and nonfatal.


67% of the children relied on a flotation device in the water

20% of those children were wearing theirs before the accident

38% of the drownings occurred at HOME

73% of the time a parent was present during the accident

66% of the children had no former swimming lessons before the accident


Check out some videos during real swim sessions

  1. A 2 year old in his summer clothes
  2. A 6 month old who has only had 3 weeks of classes!


Submission by: Lindsey Dolan who is a certified Infant Swim Rescue instructor in the Inland Empire.


Written by Julie Khaled

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