Protecting Your Children This Summer

Living on the Space Coast, it’s likely you can name at least one person who has a pool or lives by a body of water — not to mention that Brevard County is bordered by 72 miles of coastline. Being surrounded by water is part of the Floridian lifestyle and practicing water safety is one detail that should never be overlooked, especially with children.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children under 14. Swim lessons will not only give your child competence and confidence, but it will also give them skills for aquatic safety and independence.

Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) is the most comprehensive swimming and drowning prevention program in the world. This program goes beyond traditional swimming instruction by combining the fun of swimming with ISR’s Self-Rescue techniques. These lessons are not simply a water acclimation program. All lessons are taught one-on-one with a skilled instructor and are individualized to each child’s age and unique physical, emotional and cognitive development to maximize their success.

Instructor Ginger Blackman teaches ISR lessons at the Merritt Island Swim School. After watching her daughter complete the course and successfully gain skills and confidence, she decided she wanted to make a difference in her community and become an ISR instructor.

“I was so amazed with the skills and confidence that the ISR lessons gave my daughter at the age of two and a half, after having several unsuccessful attempts with other programs.  Having a backyard swimming pool combined with our outdoor lifestyle, we were constantly surrounded by water and keeping my children safe has always been my number one priority,” she said.

Infants from 6 months to 1-year-old learn the ISR Self-Rescue skill of rolling onto their backs to float, rest and breathe. They learn to maintain this position until help arrives. Children 1 to 6-years-old learn the full ISR Self-Rescue™ sequence of swimming until they need air, rotating onto the back to rest and breathe, then continue the swim-float sequence until the side of the pool, shore or safety is reached.

After their initial lessons, children are encouraged to return every six months to a year to fine-tune existing self-rescue skills to meet the demands of their growing bodies and continually develop aquatic skills.

In addition, Ginger notes that, “ISR is an important layer of protection as part of your overall water safety plan. Children do not drown because of lack of supervision; it is usually a lapse in supervision, and it only takes a momentary distraction for a child to get out of your sight.”

To find a Certified ISR Instructor in your area, visit To contact the Merritt Island Swim School, call (321) 698-5840 or visit