TikTok Clip Showing Baby Being Thrown Into Pool To Learn To Swim Sparks Debate Online
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A mum has spoken out after a video of her little boy being chucked into a pool at a swimming lesson went viral on TikTok.
Krysta Meyer, who lives in Colorado Springs in the US, downloaded TikTok a couple of months ago as a bit of a laugh - but was surprised when one of her recent uploads racked up more than 50 million views.
In the clip, her adorable eight-month-old son Oliver can be seen getting tossed into a pool by a swimming instructor, before making his way to the surface and paddling along on his back while his proud mum claps and cheers.
Sharing the clip, Krysta wrote: "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."
The clip picked up more than 120,000 comments,with some criticising the technique used by the instructor, and others making jokes.
One person wrote: "Dropped him in there like a bath bomb."
Another posted: "Lil mans not swimming he's fighting for his life."
While a third chipped in: "If I was his mother, I would not be able to watch that."
In response to the comments, Krysta told Buzzfeed that she understand that the clip might be a controversial but that what you're seeing in class isn't your normal swimming class - it's something called 'infant survival class'.
Krysta 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 traumatising them."
Lauri Armstrong, who co-owns Little Fins, where the clip was filmed, added: "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."
She said that while there is a 'shock factor' when people see the clip it's important that instructors use that specific method.
"When kids fall into bodies of water, it's often not pretty. It's often very disorientating," she explained to Buzzfeed.
"They have to learn to come up and recover on their own."
However, she warned: "Please don't throw your baby in and try to get your baby to do this untrained!"
Fellow swim instructors have also joined in the debate.
Liz Huber, founder and director of the CAST Water Safety Foundation, an organisation that teaches swimming to infants, told the news outlet she 'can't think of a situation where it would naturally include force like that', adding that they use a 'much more gentle approach'.