There are many ways to teach a child to swim, but most parents tend to use the years-long process of getting their little ones used to water with floaties, then eventually having their kids put their heads underwater, and eventually, when they advance enough, showing the little ones how to swim. That's not the only method though - there is another way and one mom from Colorado Springs recently shared it on TikTok, but wound up getting a ton of backlash.
Her name is Krysta Meyer and the 27-year-old mother of two posted a video of her 8-month-old son, Oliver, getting tossed into a pool by a swim instructor. She captioned the clip, "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."
While Oliver does seem to be doing okay in the water, the video still shocked some of the millions of people who watched it and the expressed that in the comments, writing things like, "Lil mans not swimming, he's fighting for his life," "Dropped him in there like a bath bomb," and, "All fun and games till it doesn't float back up."
Meyer has since spoken about the video, telling BuzzFeed, "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." She explained that the swim class, which takes place at the Little Fins Swim School, is called an infant survival class. The school's owner described the class, stating that it is all about safety. She added that the instructors train for months to help children as young as six months old get comfortable in the water and learn how to flip over and float on their backs if they fall in.
The method relies on infants' memories of being in the womb. It's been used for years and has been controversial for all that time. Some experts think it could be traumatic to young brains, while others show it doesn't change the risk of drowning, however there are also anti-drowning proponents who say it can save lives.
Although the school's owner asserted that they don't just toss the kids in the water on their first lesson, rather they ensure the children are ready for it, the co-founder of Parents Preventing Childhood Drowning still isn't comfortable with the video, calling the height from which the baby was dropped in the pool too high, noting, "This is an example of an unrealistic scenario. If a child is in this position, it would not be an accident, it would be considered homicide."