Video Of Toddler Being Repeatedly Submerged In Water Divides The Internet
A video of a toddler being repeatedly submerged in water while fully clothed as part of a swim lesson has caused outrage.
The original video, which has now been deleted, was uploaded by the toddler's dad to social media platform TikTok.
The video shows the toddler repeatedly flipped over in the water, while a woman pushes his head under the surface. The toddler, fully clothed in jeans and a jumper, can be heard crying as the woman covers his face with the hood.
The video was posted on Facebook by other users, with some comments condemning the actions as "traumatising" and "sickening".
Others said the method would teach the child how to survive if they fell into a pool without supervision.
"I think everyone here is missing the BIG PICTURE. If your fully clothed baby manages to walk poolside and accidentally falls in... Is the poor baby going to drown, or be able to resurface like this baby," said one person.
Swim Australia, the country's peak industry body for 600 swim schools nationwide, told 10 daily forced submersion method is "contrary to best practise and must not be carried out."
The organisation's baby and toddler swimming teaching policy statement, developed in partnership with the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association, advises submersion should "never be the dominant focus" of the lesson.
"Submersion is not something done to a baby but with a baby," the policy states.
"Any submersion practice that does not take into account the readiness of the baby as demonstrated by ‘baby cues’, irrespective of the consent of the accompanying adult, amounts to a forced submersion and is contrary to best practice."
Bec Barnacle, owner of Jump Swim School Villawood, said the controversial method can "traumatise" children and lead to a fear of water.
"It may work brilliantly in some children who have no fear of water and a good centre of gravity, but in children who don't it may completely throw them off and make them terrified of water for life," she told 10 daily.
"It also teaches no swimming skills, only survival and floating which takes out all of the fun of being in the water for children."
Barnacle, a swim teacher for nearly 10 years, said there are gentler ways of getting a child used to water.
"I would sing songs or use toys, or encourage parents to float the infant during bath time and get them used to water in their ears and on their face," she said.
The father has since uploaded further videos of his son swimming, including one captioned "he can swim, he loves the water".