Instructor Ashlee Forscher in the News
CUMMING, Ga. — Three years ago, Ashlee Forscher wanted to make sure her 2-year-old son knew how to swim in case he ever fell in a pool and she wasn't around.
So she signed him up for swim lessons.
"He didn't learn anything, but to blow bubbles," Forscher recalled.
But after she put her son through an Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) course, he was placed at the center of the pool — fully clothed — and was able to get himself out.
"It's amazing to see," Forscher said.
Forscher, who is now a certified Infant Swimming Resource instructor, wants other parents to instill these lifesaving skills that her children have learned.
She will teach survival swimming lessons for babies and toddlers from 6 months to 6 years old at the Cumming Aquatic Center, 201 Aquatic Circle off Pilgrim Mill Road, each week.
Cumming Aquatic Center Facility Manager Carla Wilson said the self-rescue component is something that can be a lifesaving tool for that, "just in case" type of situation.
"It's teaching young children how to survive," Wilson said. "I think with the backyard pool season coming up this summer, you can never be too careful."
About 815 children aged 14 and under die each year of unintentional drowning in the U.S., according to Safe Kids USA.
In 2008, the latest year the statistics were available, there were 745 children aged 14 and under who died of unintentional drowning.
Forscher is one of six certified instructors in the state to offer ISR lessons.
Registrations for the course are always open. Classes are offered from 10 a.m. to noon, and evening sessions are available upon request. The 10-minutes-a-day, 5-days-a-week course runs about $90 per week during the summer.
The ISR lesson experience is a comprehensive six-week program where each lesson is customized for the child as they are safely guided through the learning process.
Forscher said discounts are available for winter registrants.
"ISR lessons teach the kids how to self-rescue themselves by flipping over on their back, screaming for help," Forscher said. "For the older children, it teaches them to catch their breath and swim to safety."
The Cumming Aquatic Center also offers swim lessons through the American Red Cross and parent-and-child exercise classes through Oh Baby! Fitness.
"Sometimes, everything we do is not enough to keep a child from drowning," Forscher said. "Even with alarms, door locks, pool fences and supervision, children can escape from protective care and find themselves in trouble."
For more information, visit www.ISRforsyth.com or the Cumming Aquatic Center at www.crpdonline.org.
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