While there's a lot of controversy surrounding Self Rescue and ISR instructors, these lessons significantly impacted child drowning prevention.
The organization has numerous safety protocols, and thousands of parents and their children have completed the program and remained satisfied. But things are not so black and white.
Some parents left the program just to find out later that their infant was terrified in the water. Why and how does it happen?
The answer is simple. Little kids, just like adults, have fight-or-flight instincts. An unfamiliar swimming pool setting with a stranger instructor can trigger those instincts to kick in. After all, an instructor is not their safety base, and most babies would not be comfortable in this scenario.
If your kid doesn't calm down after a few lessons and the instructor still deals with tantrums, it's time to call it a day. Switching instructors and seeing if your kid does better with another person is best. A negative association with water is proven
to affect your kid's future progress in learning to swim.
If you still wish to continue lessons with your kid being terrified every time, proceed at your own risk. Your kid can eventually learn to float through the tears and discomfort. But don't be surprised if they freak out next time you're in the pool together.
The price is too high for a basic skill like floating that you can teach your baby on your own
. When you ultimately choose to teach your children swimming skills beyond floating after completing ISR, breaking the fight or flight response will take a while.
Other than that, ISR CAN save your baby's life one day, but adult supervision is still REQUIRED after completion of the program.