LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - In Southwest Louisiana the outdoors are a big part of our culture. And part of that is how much time many of us spend in the water.
Because of this, water safety is an important lesson to learn no matter your age.
Sarah Lowery described the close call her family had that convinced them to enroll their children in ISR lessons, “We had a little scare with my son when he was three. And so we were just at the hotel pool and my Aunt was in from Minnesota, we had just ordered lunch. So lunch was delivered and we all got out of the pool. I took his Puddle jumper off. I turned around to go get his shoes and my shoes By the time I turned around my aunt was cannonballing into the pool to save him. I mean it happened fast and it was silent. As soon as that happened I was on a mission to find something that was going to be able to help them be confident and comfortable in the pool.”
Instructor Christina Bazinet says, “Drowning is the leading cause of death in children one through five. It’s very real. It doesn’t care who you are. It can happen to anyone, no matter how good of a parent you are or how close of a watch you think you’re keeping an eye on your child. ISR actually stands for Infant Swim Resource. What we focus on is self-rescue from six months to about a year, year and a half. Our students learn how to roll back and float and wait for someone to come get them if they do fall in the water. I really strongly believe that swim lessons, a pool fence, and any type of technology that alerts you, I highly recommend it.”
A lot of water safety comes down to basic skills that can be taught very early, “A lot of people think that an infant rolling back to float is an instinct, that these babies have an instinct to roll back. That is not the case. It’s definitely a taught skill and they will end up being skilled and if they find water alone they will have the self-rescue tools they need.”
And Lowery says her daughter loves the lessons, “It was interesting at first because Pierce had just been through this traumatic event for him and Sawyer, she was one when she started, and she really didn’t cry. She just loved it. I think because she started so young. She just kind of became a water baby. When I saw her accomplish it, like if she can do that and she’s not afraid and she can do it then this is working. It’s really the greatest thing I feel like, in my opinion, that you can do for your kids, to get them confidence in the water.”
Bazinet says a great place to start with water safety for children is by checking the exits in your home, including a doggy door if you have one, and putting a fence around your swimming pool.