Survival swim classes aim to prevent children from drowning

(WAFB) - Children often find their way into bodies of water unattended. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about ten people die every day from unintentional drowning.

That's where Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) classes come in.

"That roll back to float is just so important, it's lifesaving. Everyone needs to know it. It could save an adult, it could save a child," said certified ISR instructor, Lauren Wilt.

Wilt says her mission to teach children how to survive during stressful situations started eight years ago. Her son, who was 3-years-old at the time, slipped into a pool and struggled to find a way out.

"From then on, I was just fearful. Fearful of what could happen. I had him in a life jacket. I just knew there had to be something better," said Wilt.

Wilt says every second a child is in distress counts. "If no one has their eyes on that child and hasn't come up for a breath within the last five seconds, they might think that child's just playing, but a child who's vertical and cannot touch [the bottom of the pool], needs to get out," she said.

Teaching young children to swim, roll on their backs, and then float has the potential to save a life, according to Wilt. In six weeks, kids ages 6 months to 6-years-old use just ten minutes per day to learn how to get our of a potential drowning incident. The classes even go as far as simulating emergency scenarios. "I want to see what they might do. I want to see that they immediately roll on their backs and get a breath and look for the nearest way to get out," she said.

Mother of two, Liz Oblinger, says she has a family of swimmers, but if her kids find themselves in trouble, she wants them to know the next step.

"Even if I'm right there swimming with them, I want them to be able to be independent and not have any fear and have a gut instinct of what to do if they were in a sticky situation," said Oblinger.

To find out more about ISR classes offered locally, email

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