Infant Swimming Class in Norwood Helps Save Lives
The program teaches children from 6 months to 4 years old how to survive a fall in the water.
Have you ever worried about what would happen if your young one fell into a pool when you weren't looking?
Mothers and fathers at the Hampton Inn in Norwood can ease that worry a little more each day they take their child to swim with Deborah Rossetti, an instructor with Infant Swimming Resource.
ISR, founded in 1966, is a program that teaches children from six months to four years old skills to survive a fall in the water.
Rossetti said she has taught about 1,000 young swimmers since 1990 and has been headquartered at the swimming pool at the Hampton Inn on Route 1 in Norwood for the past five years.
For Rossetti, it is a very rewarding career.
“Every day, I feel like I am preventing a drowning because I’m teaching them the skills. But when I hear that they actually survived a drowning it’s the greatest reward I could ever hope for in my life,” she said.
“I have had personally at least six or seven children over these years whose mothers have contacted me and told me ‘This is what happened and this is what my child did thanks to you,” said Rossetti. “It’s what keeps me doing this day after day.”
The program works by teaching them to hold their breath when they feel water and they learn to go from a face-down position to a face-up position, to rest and breath and float and cry out for help when they wind up in the water.
They are also taught to keep an eye out for the sides of the pool and to grab on when they can.
“The children develop this overall respect and understanding of the water,” Rossetti said.
Eleven-month-old Liam Ivatts from Foxborough was in the pool with Deborah Wednesday morning working on his technique.
His mother, Tara, is amazed at the results she's seen in the five weeks the blond haired, brown eyed ball of energy has been in the pool with Deb.
“It’s unbelievable,” Tara said. “He took to it right away. He cries or he usually whines but he loves swimming in the water. If he goes underwater he can find his way up to his back now.
“We’re surrounded by water and he’s a little wild child. He’s already running around," she said. "Just for peace of mind to know, not that he’s not always supervised, but in case anything ever happens that even that split second of him getting to the top of the pool is worth every penny to me.”
Heidi McDonald, of Mansfield, feels the same way about her 18-month-old son Bryce.
“I can’t imagine any other type of lesson to be completely honest with you, especially at this age,” McDonald said.
Heidi's eldest son, who is now four-and-a-half, took lessons with Rossetti in 2010. Now it's Bryce's turn.
“We have an in-ground pool so I would have a heart attack any time they were near it. My pool is fenced in but you just never know," she said.
“I love her," Heidi said of Deborah. "She’s awesome. She’s so nice. My oldest son has to say goodbye to her once a week to make sure that she sees him."
To sign up for the program, parents must go through a registration process with ISR which includes a health screening. There is a fee of $105 to register.
Then it costs $120 a week until the child is done with the program. They also offer assistance for families in need.
Being enrolled means that the parents be present at every one of the 10 minute sessions, five days a week.
”This is a commitment," Rossetti said. "They’re not coming and dropping their child off and going grocery shopping. They’re inside, they’re involved. They have to make that commitment and come.”
General Manager of the hotel Camille Brooks said: “She does something very special for people. She teaches them how to survive if they do happen to fall in your pool or fall in the ocean or fall in a body of water. She has saved so many lives probably just by doing that.”
For more information about Infant Swimming Resource visit http://www.infantswim.com.