Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) – Q&A


The first time I saw the ISR (Infant Swimming Resource) video of a child walking into their backyard and falling into the pool, my heart stopped. Then, with goosebumps and my jaw wide open, I kept watching. He instantly knew to roll over, float on his back and cry for help. I was amazed, beyond impressed and curious about ISR and what it teaches. As a mother of young children, I wondered if this was something that would benefit my little ones when the time came.

Now that my kids are exposed to water more frequently, I had a long list of questions and longed for more information. Emily McVay and Tara Murphy, the only licensed instructors in the Wichita area, were extremely helpful in answering any and all questions I had. Emily and Tara have been teaching swim lessons in the Wichita area for a combined 30+ years, but feel that ISR was their true calling. “We never imagined a program so brilliant could exist.  With 6 (almost 7) kids between us, we both wished ISR would have been available in Wichita when our kids were babies. The ISR program is designed to protect our precious children using skills taught to them by ISR by themselves. After our youngest boys hit preschool age, we began to chase our dream and began ISR training.”

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What is ISR?

ISR stands for Infant Swimming Resource – the safest provider of survival swimming lessons for children 6 months to 6 years of age. With over 45 years of experience and the highest safety standards in the industry, ISR is able to deliver the best survival swimming instruction in the world today. The result? Over 7 million safe and effective lessons delivered, providing children with a foundation for safety and a lifetime of fun in and around the water.

What will my child learn through ISR?

  • Students 6-12 months learn survival floating. Lessons focus on teaching the child to roll onto their back to float, rest and breathe, and to be able to maintain this life-saving position until help arrives.
  • Children 1-6 years old learn the Swim – Float – Swim sequence. Children learn to swim with their head down; roll onto their back to float, rest, and breathe; and roll back over to resume swimming until the reach the side of the pool, where they can either cral out or until they can be rescued.

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How is ISR different than traditional swimming lessons?

ISR lessons are SURVIVAL LESSONS. That is our main focus. “Not One More Child Drowns!”

What ages are recommended for ISR?

Ages 6 months to 6 years.

Is ISR safe?

In order to ensure we provide each student with the safest possible lesson, ISR has the following protocols.

  • The ISR Registration Process
  • Daily documentation on bowel, urine, diet and sleep patterns (B.U.D.S)
  • Instructor initiated checks for temperature fatigue throughout lessons.
  • Post lesson rest period.

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How often and how long are ISR lessons?

Lessons are 5 days a week, 10 minutes a day, for 4-6 weeks.

What further lessons should my child take after taking ISR?

We recommend refresher lessons for the floaters and younger swim-float-swim kids. Their bodies grow so quickly that their center of gravity changes. Unless they are in the pool all the time they will need a refresher how to swim to float in their new older bodies. The older swim-float-swim kids can transition into swim teams or stroke development lessons.

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Should I expect my child to be upset after the first lesson or two?

Children may be upset and fuss on the first couple of days. Our goal is to set our students up for success as often as possible throughout lessons so that they can build confidence as quickly as possible. In most cases, the emotion will reduce within the first week and the children will likely be excited to come to lessons. As the parent, you are the BEST CHEERLEADER for your child! We encourage parents to sit at the side of the pool.

Am I in the water with my child?

With ISR, the lessons are one on one with the instructor. With students who are learning the swim – float – swim, we like to get parents in the pool at the end of the first week or once we have established a short swim.

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What will my child be able to master after completing ISR?

Each ISR kid must be able to do their skill (either float or swim-float-swim) in a swimsuit, summer clothes, and winter clothes.

Emily McVay and Tara Murphy are proud to be Certified Infant Swimming Resource Instructors. They pledge to provide skills to as many infants and children as possible to help in the effort to see that day that “Not One More Child Drowns.”

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For further information, or to sign-up for ISR lessons, please see the contact information listed below:

Emily Mcvay – 316-519-2358 – [email protected]

Tara Murphy -316-573-8470 – [email protected]

Infant Swim Wichita

photo credit: Sally Cavanaugh Photography

Disclosure: Wichita Moms Blog received compensation and a complimentary class for this review. That said, we strongly believe in the importance of water safety, and ISR is a program we stand behind and are excited to  bring to this wonderful community of moms.