TikTok clip showing a baby being thrown into a swimming pool sparks debate

A video clip of a baby learning to swim triggered a parent debate over TikTok.
The short clip, shared by mother Krysta Meyer from Colorado Springs in the USA, shows her little son Oliver, who is thrown into a pool by a swimming instructor, who then jumps after the baby but does not intervene when he intervenes.
Baby Oliver straightens up quickly and floats on his back to the surface of the pool. He is encouraged by his teacher and mother, who were ready to watch and record the lesson.
"Oliver surprises me every week! I cannot believe that he is barely two months old and is catching on so quickly. He is a small fish, ”says the caption.
Since sharing the clip, it has been viewed more than 51 million times on TikTok and another 20 million times on Twitter.
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A video of a baby dripping into his swimming pool has gone viral, image from model. (Getty Images)
While Oliver's swimming skills are undoubtedly impressive, the video appears to have split parents, with some criticizing the technique used by the instructor.
"We threw him in there like a bath bomb," wrote one user.
"Lil mans doesn't swim, he's fighting for his life," added another.
"I work in Aquatics and although I know the benefits and this actually works, my heart stops every time I see them," wrote another.
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In response to the controversy, Meyer told Buzzfeed that she understood that the clip might be divisive, but explained that her son was not attending a typical swimming class, but something known as child survival or self-rescue swimming.
The technique is to throw babies at the age of six months into a swimming pool and allow them to recover without help.
The idea is that if a child fell into a pool while there were no adults around, the lessons would teach them the instincts required to float on their backs until help arrives.
"Many people see a child being thrown into the water and think," This is not a good thing! You shouldn't do that! "Explains Meyer.
The mother, who joined TikTok in February of this year, also discussed the effects of the viral clip.
"I have received death threats. I have heard from people that I am the worst kind of mother, that I endanger my children, that I traumatize them, ”she added.
The technology differs from typical swimming hours. (Getty Images)
Lauri Armstrong, co-owner of Little Fins, where the clip was filmed, told BuzzFeed that the goal was not to teach babies to swim, but to put them in water, learn how to relax and turn around when they did fall in and float on your back.
"The whole premise behind what we do is security," she said. “We teach eight-month-olds to assess their situation and find an exit strategy [in the water]. I know it seems crazy. "
She said, although it is understandable that there is a "shock factor" when people see children falling into the water, it is important that the trainers use this special method.
“When children fall into water, it's often not nice. It's often very disoriented, ”she explained to Buzzfeed.
"You have to learn to recover yourself."
However, she warned that parents should not try the technology on their own.
"Please don't throw your baby in and try to get your baby to do this untrained!"
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Interestingly, the technology isn't really new, but it has been around for decades, but it's not without criticism. A 2017 report from the UK argued that practice for young brains could be traumatic.
“Floating safe methods have been around for decades, but the techniques are being used more and more and have recently attracted international attention. This has led us to join forces as a UK industry to talk about our concerns, ”said Dr. Francoise Freedman said a medical anthropologist at Cambridge University and a leading baby swimming expert in the report.
“Conditioning (forcing) a baby or toddler to hover depends on extreme traumatic methods, and unfortunately, no praise will compensate for the memory of pain inflicted - it is only pressed into the deeper parts of our brain where it is recorded.
“While some children get away unscathed, the trauma can recur for others in later years and cause fear of the water. And because we don't know who is at risk, we have to ask ourselves whether it is worth doing so. and the simple answer is no, based on scientific evidence and statistics. "

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