Valley mom brings water self-rescue skills for children to the community
According to Infant Swimming Resource (ISR), drowning is the leading preventable cause of death in children four years old and younger. A mom in the Shenandoah Valley has made it her mission to help prevent those deaths in the Valley community.
Ashley Beahm is a certified Infant Swimming Resource instructor. She said three years ago when she and her husband were in Florida to adopt their daughter, she learned about ISR.
"Like many parents, I was already developing anxiety around water," said Beahm. "I knew this was a skill that I wanted to provide her."
Infant Swimming Resource is a program that teaches children six months to six years old how to be aquatic problem solvers. Children learn self-rescue skills in the water. They practice different techniques, like falling into the water with clothing on.
"Most kids who reach water by themselves in accidents and unexpected situations are fully clothed, not just in their bathing suits," said Beahm.
Lessons are ten minutes a day for five days a week and last between four to six weeks, depending on each child.
When Ashley returned to the Valley with her newborn, she started to research ISR in the Valley. That's when she realized there were no instructors in the area, and decided to become one herself.
"We are like the average family here in the community, and we are around water way more than we realized with local pools and even bath time," said Beahm.
She spent six weeks in Florida over the summer of 2019 to become a certified instructor. Charlie also went through the program to learn self-rescue skills. Ashley returned a few weeks ago and has made it her goal to teach other children in the Valley.
"So, it was important that we open this up to our community, so instead of just having our child who is able to find an instructor close to family in another state to have this skill to really bring it to our area," said Beahm.
Beahm's first class will be in August and she is working with local pools to be able to teach throughout the year. Classes are individualized for each child. Parents who are interested in scheduling their child for ISR lessons can do so by visiting Ashley's website