A viral video of a swim instructor tossing a baby into a pool has sent several users into a state of “panic” and has started a debate on swimming lessons for infants. 27-year-old Krysta Meyer, a mother of two boys in Colorado Springs, shared the video featuring her youngest son on TikTok.
The video quickly went viral and has been watched more than 51 million times on the app, and over 22 million times on Twitter. Why? Well, the video shows 8-month-old Oliver being tossed into the swimming pool, nonchalantly, by a swim instructor. The caption read, “Oliver amazes me every week! I can’t believe he is barely two months in and is catching on so fast. He is a little fish.”
More than 100,000 people commented on the TikTok, expressing concern for Oliver. Meyer, who filmed the video at the Little Fins Swim School where the boys go for their classes, stated that she knows the clip is quite controversial and shocking to several people. Speaking with Buzzfeed, the mom stated, “A lot of people are seeing a kid being thrown into the water and thinking, That’s not good! You shouldn’t be doing that!” she was quoted as saying. I’ve gotten death threats. I’ve had people tell me I’m the worst kind of mum, that I’m endangering my children, that I’m traumatizing them.” Meyer did note that Oliver’s class is an infant survival class. The premise behind the case is safety by teaching eight-month old’s to “assess their situation and find an exit strategy in the water.”
Little Fins co-owner, Lauri Armstrong, has had the swim school for more than seven years, and currently trains her swimming instructors for several months to teach the specialized class that teaches babies as young as six months. The aim isn’t to teach infants how to swim, rather get them comfortable in the water, teaching them how to recover and flip off if they fall in and to float on their backs. Think of it as a water safety course.
Many people on social media have expressed concern for the baby, saying they didn’t agree with the way the instructor threw the baby to fend for himself in the water. Which is understandable since the baby is helpless due to his age. But, if you look at it this way, that baby is surrounded by adults who are capable of swimming and can catch him. The way I see it, this can save his life later in life if he is ever in a situation where he is in a pool, or he accidentally falls. Honestly, this baby swims better than I do.
But, that being said, according to the American Association of Paediatrics, AAP, children can safely take swim lessons as early as age one. Up until 2010, the AAP specified this number as age four, but when researchers showed a reduced risk of drowning In preschoolers who took swim lessons, the organization amended its advice. So, there you have it.