Infant Self Rescue – A real life saver

It happened so quickly. When they say it only takes a second, they aren’t kidding. It seems more like half a second.

Nathan learning to float.

We were sitting on the edge of the pool. Me, my not quite 2 son Nathan, and my 20 year old niece just enjoying some family time. Suddenly a little bunny rabbit wandered into the yard. Nathan got so excited and pointed to make sure I saw it. By the time I swung my head left and and saw the rabbit, Nathan was in the pool. Just that fast, less than a second.

His feet sank quickly away from me and all I could think was to get to him before he took a breath underwater. I jumped in, fully clothed, iPhone and all, and grabbed him out of the water. He wasn’t under water for more than a few seconds but it seemed like an eternity. Thankfully, he was ok. A little startled but no worse for wear.

After things calmed down down I started to think, Nathan never attempted to get his head above water after he fell in, he just sank. Apparently, the instinct to get to the surface is not something that a child has innately in them.

My wife started researching the subject, she found this program called ISR, Infant Swim Resource. We found an instructor, Tracy Herbst at Arcadia ISR, that teaches out of her home and signed Nathan up. The ‘lessons’ are 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 4-6 weeks. The program teaches infants, toddlers and children to swim to the surface of the water if they fall in the pool and to either float until rescued or swim to the side and crawl hand over hand their way out. The floating is key, until children are about 4 years old, their head is most of their body weight so when they try to take a breath their feet sink and it is almost impossible for them to get their head above water. This is just one of the reasons ISR is so important.

When we first started the program all Nathan did was scream like a banshee but after a few weeks he became more comfortable and was swimming , floating and able to get himself to the surface of the water. Five weeks later he passed his final test which included self rescue and how to get himself out of the pool once to the side, fully clothed.

Now, this is not a full proof drowing preventor by itself, Nathan still requires supervision around a pool and while swimming. However, it does provide some peace of mind for my wife and I that if he were to fall in, he has a better chance of surviving that event now.

Tracy’s website says it best, “Sadly swimming is the number one cause of accidental death for children under the age of four in Arizona.” This is an extremely important resource for parents to know about so please share it with your friends.

Here are a few more resources to check out:

Arcadia ISR – The instructor, Tracy Herbst, is outstanding. She is very patient and loves teaching children.

Infant Swim Self Rescue™ Survival Swimming Lessons – learn about the program and find an instructor.

Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona – Excellent resource for parents.


Scottsdale Camp – Why you should go.

Scottsdale Camp is being organized by Tyler Hurst and myself and will be held at Sky Song (click here for a map) in Scottsdale on April 24th from 1:30pm to 6pm with a special screening of the movie Lemonade at 1pm and a Q&A with the Director after the screening.  Lemonade is a movie by Erik Proulx, it’s a short film about him and a bunch of inspired people who saw unemployment as an opportunity, not a hardship.

So why should you go?

I think Tyler said it best in his post:

…it needs to happen. Residents of Phoenix, Glendale, Tempe, Gilbert and Chandler get it, the businesses they frequent mostly get it and their employers are starting to turn on to it. But Scottsdale seems to be a bit behind the curve.

So let’s catch them up. Scottsdale Camp is an afternoon of teaching, sharing and learning from the actual practitioners. Speakers and topics were chosen to specifically target the theories that our geek conferences tend to specialize in.

If you’re a Scottsdale small business, if you shop at Scottsdale small businesses or if you like to see Scottsdale small businesses succeed, come help us out. We’re looking for smart people that want to learn AND teach.

That is the vision in a nutshell, provide Scottsdale businesses and residents with the tools they need to build stronger communities.

Register here!

See you there!

Home Buyer Tax Credit Passed by Congress

If you haven’t heard by now the Congress has extended and expanded the homebuyer tax credit.  Both the House and the Senate passed an Unemployment Insurance Extension bill that includes an amendment that extends and expands the homebuyer tax credit.  The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Obama today.

Is anything different about this homebuyer tax credit?

The $8,000 credit for first time homebuyers remains intact but has been expanded to include current homeowners.  If you have sold or currently own a primary residence for 5 of the last 8 years, you are eligible for a $6500 tax credit, $3,250 if married and filing separately.  There have also been some income limits imposed as well as a deadline to be under contract, not close the transaction, by April 30, 2010. You will also notice a limit on the cost of the purchase at $800,000.

The comparison chart below provided by the National Association of Realtors will help. Click here for a PDF of the chart.

Tax Credit Chart

Update: This afternoon President Obama signed the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 into law. The law takes effect December 1, 2009.

Energy Tax Credits for Homeowners

Save A Little Money

Did you know you can get an Energy Tax Credit for making energy efficient improvements to your primary residence?

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 there are energy tax credits available specifically for homeowners in Sections 1121 and 1122.

Section 1121 states:

The new law increases the energy tax credit for homeowners who make energy efficient improvements to their existing homes. The new law increases the credit rate to 30 percent of the cost of all qualifying improvements and raises the maximum credit limit to $1,500 for improvements placed in service in 2009 and 2010.

The credit applies to improvements such as adding insulation, energy efficient exterior windows and energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems.

Section 1122 goes on to include solar water heaters, geothermal heat pumps and wind turbines as well.

What does this mean for you?

This means that if you are one of the many recent first time home buyers or one of the many existing home owners and you need to make some energy efficient improvements to your existing home, now is the time.

For example, if you need to replace your air conditioner, and the new unit qualifies for the tax credit, you can save up to $1500.  Need new windows or insulation blown into the attic? You can get up to 30% of those costs back.

There are also many different tax credits and rebates offered by municipalities, utility companies, County and State Governments in your state.  Here are some resources that will help you find those credits and rebates:

Click here for a list of incentives in Arizona.

Click here for a list of incentives for your state.

The Dept. of Energy’s page on Consumer Energy Tax Incentives

These energy improvements can greatly reduce your energy bills help the environment and increase the equity in your home.  So, take advantage of these incentives before they expire on December 31, 2010.