SOMERSET, N.J. (CBS 2) — Children love water, but it can be dangerous. Now, toddlers and even infants, are learning some life-saving lessons in the water.
Twelve-month old Elli was learning to save herself from drowning as part of Infant Swimming Resource of ISR.
“It’s not about fun, it’s about learning how to be safe first. They do have fun once they know how to be safe,” instructor Mary Anne Bein told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu.
Children as young as 6 months old learn what to do if they get into trouble in the water. They learn to control their breathing, roll over and float as they cry for help.
“If they fell off a boat or if they fell into a pond and there was nothing to swim to, they would have to be able to feel comfortable enough that they could stay there and maintain a float,” Bein said.
Melissa Donofrio enrolled her girls, Elli and Lillian, in the program after weeks of traditional swimming lessons didn’t seem to work.
“The instructor let go of her one day and she just sunk to the bottom, so I knew at that point, I needed something different,” Donofrio said. “My goal when I set out to do lessons was so that she could save herself if something should happen.”
Donofrio’s little sister, Lindsey, died at just 3 years old in the backyard pool.
“Living through that experience, I needed to know my children could be safe in the water,” Donofrio said.
And now just 5 weeks into the program, Donofrio’s girls know what to do.
Hsu: So if you fall in the water, what do you do?
Lillian Donofrio: Um. Flip over on my back.
Hsu: And then what do you do?
Lillian: Swim to Mary Anne.
Hsu: So you feel comfortable if you fell in that you’d be able to take care of yourself?
The classes are just 10 minutes long, but last 5 days a week for about 2 months.
Would you send your child to the class?