An online debate has been sparked after a video has gone viral in which an eight-month-old baby has been thrown into a swimming pool, without the toddler wearing floaties.
Mum of two Krysta Meyer, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, shared a video to TikTok on Saturday in which her eight-month-old son Oliver is thrown into a swimming pool.
Having been watched over 75 million times and then shared onto Twitter, many commented that they felt horrified by the footage and said it was wrong to be throwing a toddler into the pool – especially without any armbands. Some were so infuriated by the footage that they actually sent the mum death threats.
The 27-year-old mum has explained that it was a swimming instructor holding Oliver above the pool.
Within one swift motion, she lets go of the boy and tosses him several feet below. Immediately, he sinks down below the surface and out of sight.
Following this, the instructor dives into the water and watches him. She does not attempt to pull him out of the water and within five seconds, he floats back up to the top all on his own.
From onlookers watching, cheers can be heard. The instructor lets the toddler float on his and then pulls him into a hug.
His proud mum captioned the post: “Oliver amazes me every week!
“I can’t believe he is barely 2 months in and is catching on so fast. He is a little fish.”
Despite the mum being amazed and the video showing that the little boy was fine, many others who watched the video had completely different reactions.
Whilst some cracked jokes and even shared the video on Twitter with captions like ‘Me to my Lush bath bomb’, others expressed horror at how the toddler was thrown into the water. They felt it would give the boy anxiety for life.
Aware of the responses, Krysta Meyer spoke to BuzzFeed and said: 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!’.
“I’ve gotten death threats. I’ve had people tell me I’m the worst kind of mom, that I’m endangering my children, that I’m traumatizing them.”
Yet the mum has explained that her son was receiving infant survival classes at Little Fins Swim School and that the course is designed to teach babies these important survival skills that will help them if they ever happen to fall into a pool.
Little Fins co-owner Lauri Armstrong told BuzzFeed: “The whole premise behind what we do is safety. We teach eight-month-olds to assess their situation and find an exit strategy [in water]. I know it seems crazy.”
Kids as young as six-months-old can participate in the class and each instructor has months of training before the toddlers jump in. In this case, it happened to be Armstrong’s 18-year-old niece who threw Oliver into the water.
Before the baby-throwing can begin, they have to have attended several classes over the course of a few months. This way, the child becomes comfortable and relaxed in the water, making it familiar territory. Initially, they learn to float and flip face-up.
When the toddler is eventually thrown into the water, it can be a little disorienting for them – this is intentional as this is how the toddler would feel if they were to fall in accidentally.
Armstrong added: “When kids fall into bodies of water, it’s often not pretty. It’s often very disorientating.
“They have to learn to come up and recover on their own… But we don’t throw babies in until we know they’re ready.”
In other news, a man has been filmed in the ocean pulling open a shark’s jaw for a photo. The footage has gone viral as people were astounded by his bravery.