ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (WJBK) - Swim. Float. Swim.
That's the drill 2-year-old Margaux Munyan practices as an Infant Swimming Resource student at Sola Life and Fitness in Rochester Hills. The program isn't about teaching your kids how to swim laps. It's instead designed to teach babies and toddlers to survive and breathe in the water.
"Typically, it's about a six week long program, and we start out in very small incremental baby steps and we work up to getting them to swim underwater and then rotate over to their back," says certified ISR swim instructor Anna Anderson. "It is a process for the child, but it is absolutely amazing as you can see."
"This is what she would do if she were to fall in a pool or in a lake to save herself. So, this is much more intense so I do have to explain it and I'm really excited and happy to because it's lifesaving," says Margaux's mother, Heather Munyan.
ISR believes pool fences, supervision, and pool alarms are all important in preventing drowning. But when traditional lines of defense break down, this company firmly believes in its method of survival training.
According to the CDC, nationally more than 3,500 people drown every year.
"We want to eradicate childhood drowning. It is the leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of four, and our program is really designed to give them that skill should they ever find the water alone," says Anderson.
In the water alone at 7 months old, Charlton can't swim -- but he can survive.
"For 6 months to 18 months of age, we teach them to hold their breath under water and rotate over to their back and rest and breathe until someone can rescue them," explains Anderson.
The Infant Swimming Resource company says they have at least 800 documented cases proving that this bold survival technique has prevented babies and toddlers from drowning. The method went viral on YouTube a few years ago in this video here.
Charlton Collie's mom grew up around water. Making the decision to put both her kids in ISR lessons, she says, was a no-brainer.
"That's why I make sure my children know how to swim because I have a lot of experience with people drowning around me as children," says Sabrina Collie.
Now several weeks into the program, these swimmers have it down.
"Margaux has progressed to a swim, float, swim. So she's able to swim about three to five seconds at that point when she gets tired, she flips over and floats and catches her breath and then she flips back over and swims towards the edge or a person close by," explains Munyan.
But both the kids and moms have come a long way.
"Initially, the first week is the hardest because you see your child going underwater and they're crying," says Collie.
She was not that happy in the beginning. She was a little upset. It's some work; it's hard work. It's not playing around. But now she absolutely loves it and she really looks forward to her swim lessons," says Munyan.
To learn more about ISR lessons, or to find a lesson near you, visit www.infantswim.com.