JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Drowning is the number one cause of non-injury death for kids ages one to four and it is 100% preventable.
Especially here in Florida where water is all over the place, it's important for kids to learn to swim.
"Most children take better to the water environment if they're taught at an earlier age," says Infant Swim Resource instructor Amy Pritchett.
Infant Swim Resource is a program that starts kids as young as six months in the pool learning to float.
"That is the safest thing you can teach your child a float buys them time to breath comfortably, they're not struggling, and it teaches them it's a place to get their breath and wait for help," said Pritchett.
Amberlee Hewett signed 20 month old Lawson up for ISR classes when she was 8 months old. It's hard to watch the kids take the class.
"It was terrible. It was awful. She was 8 months old and she would just scream. She was so little at the time and hated the water but she learned to love it," said Hewett.
"I always kind of tease my new moms, if the child is coming to me at a very young age, it's usually harder initially on the parent than it is on the child so, we spend a lot of time as instructors educating the parents and helping them to understand what we do and how we're doing it and allowing them to see the progress their child is making," says Prtichett.
Jennifer McGarity signed her kids up after one of her children had a near death experience.
"My second child Connor, actually had an accident in the pool with a babysitter we took all the precautions, we had a pool fence, there was adult supervision but it only takes a split second," she says.
McGarity didn't hesitate to sign her kids up for ISR. Her son Connor went through the class and she says it saved his life. He can now enjoy going in the water. Her daughter Bella is a few days into the class and is already floating on her back.
"My children actually, she loves it, she enjoys it. It may not start like that in the beginning because it's different," said McGarity.
ISR is a method that works. It started in 1966 by Dr. Harvey Barnett. The kids learn in 10 minute classes, 5 days a week, for four to six weeks. Even in that short time, the children learn valuable lessons.
There are more than 20 instructors in Jacksonville. To find out more information, visit ISR's website at www.infantswim.com.
First Coast News