Controversial video shows 6-month-old baby struggling to stay above water

ST. GEORGE — A video of a 6-month-old Florida girl falling face-down into a swimming pool has gone viral this week, garnering well over 1 million views. The video, which shows two adults watching an infant fall but neither stepping in to help her, has drawn both criticism and praise.

Instead of stepping in, the adults watch as the infant struggles, flips around and ends up floating on her back. After roughly 90 seconds, a woman lifts the baby out of the water and is heard saying, “I’ve got you, baby.”

The video footage, shown at the beginning of the video posted to this report above, was posted on Facebook with the caption: “So hard to watch but every kid should learn this young.” Currently, there are more than 3,000 comments on the Facebook video.

One comment posted read:

Mixed emotions! Good to teach young ones yes, but so upsetting watching her struggle, and clearly not like it! I understand this may save her life, but so will pool alarms, baby gates, supervision etc. I don’t even know how I feel about this video other than; sad! All I wanted to do was just pick her up and comfort her!

Another comment read:

A baby has zero reason to learn anything about the water at that age. They can barely control their limbs. Its the parents duty at that age to watch them like a hawk. A baby should NEVER be by or in a body of water without adults, period. So this is just not that well thought out

While some may find the video hard to watch, it undoubtedly raises awareness of drowning, which is the leading cause of accidental death for toddlers ages 1 to 3.

The infant in the video has been trained in Infant Swimming Resource, or ISR – a unique system of survival techniques designed to keep kids afloat in any body of water until help arrives.

Going beyond traditional swim instruction, children as young as 6 months old are taught how to survive alone in open water during the Infant Swim “self-rescue” training.

Babies are taught in 10-minute sessions, five days a week for four to six weeks to learn the program. ISR isn’t about teaching a baby to swim at a young age. It’s a survival technique to be used in a serious situation and may just help prevent an accidental drowning.

The roots of Infant Swim trace back to 1966 when Harvey Barnett, an 18-year-old lifeguard at the time, witnessed the aftermath of the drowning of his neighbor’s child. The tragic event inspired Barnett to begin teaching young children to swim.

Barnett’s observation of how children responded to certain types of communication and instruction techniques — even nonverbal infants — was the catalyst for 50 years of research and the eventual creation of ISR Self-Rescue. The technique has been used to train approximately 300,000 children.

Robyn Lamoreaux, the only certified ISR instructor in St. George, said she can teach these survival swim lessons to infants as young as 6 months old by teaching them to orient themselves in the water, roll to a back float position and breathe.

“Children older than a year can learn to swim a short distance, then roll back into a floating position to get a breath, and then turn back over to swim again,” Lamoreaux said. “We call it our swim-float-swim sequence.”

ISR is the safest aquatic survival program for infants and young children in the world, Lamoreaux told St. George News.

“It is our goal,” she said, “to teach young children the skills necessary to become aquatic problem solvers in the event they find themselves alone in a body of water.”

Keri Morrison, the mother of the 6-month-old girl in the video, has experienced every parent’s worst nightmare. Her 2-year-old son, Jake, accidentally drowned three years ago during a trip to Orlando after slipping out a back door and falling off a deck.

Morrison said she put her 6-month-old daughter in the ISR class in hopes of preventing another tragedy.

“I wish I could go back in time and put my son in these lessons,” Morrison told Today. “I’m pretty confident that he would be here, and as a parent, I felt like I failed my son, and I was just determined that was not going to happen with my daughters.”

Morrison and her husband have set up a foundation in memory of their son called Live Like Jake, which brings awareness to drowning prevention and provides scholarships for swim lessons to those who can’t afford them.

Ed. note: The opening footage of the baby doing infant swim in the video attached to this report was posted on Facebook; the balance of the video featuring Robyn Lamoreaux is St. George News sponsored content.

Resources

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

6 Comments

  • Stephanie May 13, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    I am extremely grateful to have had Robyn teach my 15 month old granddaughter life saving skills in the water. It is extremely ignorant of anyone to think that this could not happen to someone you love or know, it happens in seconds. My own son walked pass an entire living room filled with parents and out a sliding glass door in seconds and was standing by the pool. Another amazing family I know lost their son in a pool while the pool was filled with its siblings playing and other parents. I hope and pray to God that for those of you who are being so judgmental of such a life saving service that you never have to eat your words.

  • Stephanie May 13, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I am extremely grateful to have had Robyn teach my 15 month old granddaughter life saving skills in the water. It is extremely ignorant of anyone to think that this could not happen to someone you love or know, it happens in seconds. My own son walked pass an entire living room filled with parents and out a sliding glass door in seconds and was standing by the pool. Another amazing family I know lost their son in a pool while the pool was filled with its siblings playing and other parents. I hope and pray to God that for those of you who are being so judgmental of such a life saving service that you never have to eat your words. Do not get me wrong every time I watch this video or others of children learning rescue swimming my heart literally sinks.

  • ladybugavenger May 13, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    People are crazy. That child was not in danger. If you lost a child, like she did, to a drowning, i hope you would take measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  • digger May 13, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Sorry, But I see no Struggle, all my kids swim like fish cause they were taught at a very early age,
    Saved my sons Life cause he fell in and the pool water was too low for him to get out, INSTEAD OF STRUGGLING HE SWAM N TREDDED WATER UNTIL HIS MOM FOUND HIM.
    This is Great, Get em a Snorkel and Mask and they’ll
    be swimmin before they can walk.

  • fun bag May 13, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    people have always been retarded. it’s just with ‘social media’ it’s right there in your face at all times it seems. makes it a lot harder to ignore all the dumbasses and idiots. if folks wanna give their babies swim lessons, well, its their prerogative

  • .... May 13, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    That’s why I keep all my booze in floating containers while out boating

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.