Safe Start

Behavioral-Based Approach

Safe Start and Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) are the leading behavioral-based approach to swimming lessons, using techniques that are developmentally appropriate for your child.

Non-walking infants will be taught to roll on to their back to float, rest, and breathe; children that are walking will be taught to use a swim-float-swim sequence to reach safety. These Self Rescue® skills will be taught in both a swimsuit as well as fully clothed.

Founded in 1966 by Dr. Harvey Barnett, ISR is now the global leader in the industry it pioneered: survival swimming for infants and young children. In 1999, the YMCA of Central Florida partnered with ISR through the generous support of Dr. Phillips Charities to create Safe Start. Today, our goal “Not One More Child Drowns” is the foundation of our Aquatics program. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children under age 4. At the Y, we believe that we can work towards changing these staggering statistics one child at a time.

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Full Course

Safe Start - Full Course

Lesson Details

Age

6 months – 6 years

Dates

Registration varies by family center

Duration

10 minutes

Number of Classes

5 days per week (6 weeks total)

Instructor/Student Raio

1:1

Refresher

Safe Start - Refresher

Lesson Details

Age

6 months – 6 years

Dates

Registration varies by family center

Duration

10 minutes

Number of Classes

5 days per week (2–4 weeks total)

Instructor/Student Ratio

1:1

This course is designed to refresh Safe Start and ISR self-rescue skills. Participants must have previously completed a Safe Start course.

Maintenance

Safe Start - Maintenance

Lesson Details

Age

6 months – 6 years

Dates

Registration varies by family center

Duration

10 minutes

Number of Classes

1–2 days per week, 3–5 weeks total

Instructor/Student Ratio

1:1

This course is designed to refresh and maintain Safe Start and ISR self-rescue skills. Participants must have previously completed a Safe Start course.

We were on a family vacation, everyone was swimming, and our daughter was standing at the edge of the pool. I was squatting behind her with my hands out when I turned my head for a split second. […] Now I know that it only takes a few seconds for your world to change and, thankfully, Alana knew just what to do. I looked down to see her calmly floating, waiting for me to pick her up.

Stephens Family

Just a short 48 hours after finishing his Safe Start program our son fell into our pool as he was “helping” to clean the pool. It was amazing how he flipped over and swam to the wall. He did this automatically without hesitation even though the water was terribly cold and he was dressed from head to toe in his church clothes and shoes. Thank you so much for teaching our son the Safe Start self-rescue skills!

Hohmann Family

I stepped away from the backyard grill for just a minute […] as I returned through the front door, I could see a ripple in the cold pool water. Thankfully, Richard Daniel responded to what he was taught during his Safe Start lessons, months earlier. He was calm, floating on his back, confident in his skills. A life spared, a life saved, a course for which we are most grateful.

Haber Family

Since graduating from Safe Start, Khyleigh has been using her skills in the pool, at the springs and at the beach. She especially loves to swim with her three older siblings.

Grunloh Family

Safe Start Instructors

Every Safe Start/ISR Instructor completes an intensive academic and in-water training program before they’re certified to offer Safe Start Self Rescue®. Once certified, instructors are highly-skilled, precise aquatic behavioral specialists. Our instructors understand the unique cognitive and physical development of each child. In addition to being thoroughly trained, our instructors are chosen for their caring nature.

Continual Education

We annually re-certify our instructors with a program that includes in-water and academic work with an ISR Senior Master Instructor.

Safe Start Interest Form

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Our Commitment

Your child’s safety is our priority. Find out more about our commitment to keeping kids safe.

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Do you have a question about our Aquatics program? Let us know!

Aquatic Camps

Offerings include Fishing, Wacky Water Sports, Endurance Sports and Games, and more!