Controversial Viral Video Shows Baby Struggling to Swim - NBC 6 South Florida

Controversial Viral Video Shows Baby Struggling to Swim

Infants are taught to roll onto their backs to float, rest and breathe, and maintain that position until help arrives

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    Video of Baby Struggling to Swim Draws Controversy

    A video of a baby that appears to be struggling to stay afloat in a pool has drawn criticism, but the Florida mom behind the viral video swears by the method, known as Infant Swimming Resource. (Published Monday, May 9, 2016)

    Captioned "So hard to watch but every kid should learn this young," a viral video of a baby who appears to be struggling to swim is stirring up mixed reactions from viewers.

    Uploaded to Facebook on May 2 by user "DOV," the roughly two-minute clip shows a baby girl being lured into a pool, then falling face-first into the water.

    The baby appears to struggle to keep her head up and is heard making soft, muffled cries as adults off-camera encourage her, repeating "Good girl!" She eventually flips onto her back and floats. The adults still do not pick her up.

    After roughly 90 seconds, a woman lifts the baby out of the water and is heard saying "I've got you, baby."

    Keri Morrison, the Palm Beach County, Florida mom behind the viral video, swears by the method known as Infant Swimming Resource. The baby in the video is her daughter.

    The ISR method starts with babies as young as 6 months. Infants are taught to roll onto their backs to float, rest and breathe, and maintain that position until help arrives.

    "You're seeing a 6-month-old sitting on the steps playing, which can be a real-life situation, she falls in and she turns over and saves herself and floats for over a minute and a half," Morrison told NBC's "Today" show about the video. "I don't see how there could be anything negative about that."

    Morrison lost her son three years ago in a drowning accident in Orlando. She started the Live Like Jake Foundation to promote drowning prevention and awareness, as well as to provide scholarships for swimming lessons. 

    She and the organization strongly support the ISR method, providing videos and information on ISR on the Live Like Jake website.

    "Children are curious, capable, and have an uncanny ability to overcome obstacles like pool fences," ISR says on its website. "At ISR we take that ability and teach them skills to potentially save themselves if they find themselves in the water alone." 

    The Facebook video is triggering mixed emotions from viewers who have commented on the post more than 1,500 times. Some are praising the parents' methods, while others express discomfort at seeing the baby appear to struggle to swim.

    "Child was not in any danger," one comment reads, going on to say, "Great parenting. Showing others how this teaching can save lives."

    Another reads, "Why do people think this is good? The child needs the comfort of a parent."

    As of Monday morning, the video has been viewed more than 600,000 times and shared 10,000 times with nearly 4,000 reactions.

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