The mother whose baby was filmed attempting to stay afloat in a pool has spoken out against her critics, and says she has taught her daughter ‘life skills’ after her son drowned to death.
The divisive video sparked debate yesterday, confirming to some that a baby should be taught how to swim at an early age, while others said the video is merely a cruel display of bad parenting.
But mother Keri Morrison told Fox News that teaching her 13-month-old daughter Julia to swim is vital since she lost her son Jake when he was two and a half in a drowning accident while on holiday.
A divisive video showing a baby attempting to stay afloat in a pool sparked debate yesterday but mother Keri Morrison (right) said that teaching her 13-month-old daughter Julia (pictured in her arms) to swim is vital since she lost her son Jake (pictured center) in a drowning accident while on holiday
When asked why the training is essential, Morrison replied: ‘Because I know the alternative. My son is no longer with us because he didn’t have these skills’
Baby faceplants in pool, rolls over, cries, learns to float
The distressing video of a small baby left gasping for air as she attempts to swim in a paddling pool has sparked a heated debate on social media. But Morrison said the video shows her daughter is able to prevent herself drowning as she has been taught how to ‘self save’
When asked why the training is essential, Morrison replied: ‘Because I know the alternative my son is no longer with us because he didn’t have these skills.
‘To me, I’m protecting her and that is what a mother is supposed to do protect her.
‘I feel like I failed my son and I’m not going to fail my daughters.’
The two-minute clip begins with the little girl in a yellow dress attempting to grab a sandal that is floating in front of her in a swimming pool.
The baby then bobs for several seconds face down and begins flailing her arms and legs but is able to flip herself on to her back as she attempts to keep her head above water.
Though troubling for many, her family sat nearby do not seem to react as she continues to struggle and begins to moan and cry.
But a woman is heard saying ‘good girl’ as the baby continues paddle her arms and legs and keep her head mostly out of the water.
Speaking on Fox, Morrison explained: ‘To see her face above the water at such a young age and know what to do.
‘One of the things I really struggle with is that my son fell in the water not knowing what to do.
‘And that thought and vision fires me up to make sure that not just my children but children all over are safe and can do this in the water.’
Morrison’s son Jake right died while the family were on holiday in Orlando. He drowned after he slipped out the back door in the pitch dark and fell off the dock into the intracoastal near to the house where they were staying. Pictured left, Jake’s grave
Ashleigh Bullivant from Infant Swimming Resource (pictured in pool right) explained how babies can learn how to ‘self save’ over the course of four weeks of daily, ten-minute lessons. Left, mother Morrison speaks to reporter about why she supports infant survival swimming lessons
Ashleigh Bullivant from Infant Swimming Resource explained how babies can learn how to ‘self save’ over the course of four weeks of daily, ten-minute lessons.
She added: ‘Our students at ISR are taught everything incrementally in a very gentle way and honors the way they learn physically.
‘They are taught breathing exercises with the aim of eventually being able to hold their breath.’
Infant Swimming Resource is one of several organisations that teach survival and swimming lessons for infants and young children.
Their website explains the method behind their teaching: ‘ISR believes pool fences, supervision, and pool alarms are important parts of a necessary multi-layered approach to drowning prevention.
‘However, traditional lines of defense break down, and the over 4,000 drowning deaths per year bear a grim testament to the fact that traditional approaches are missing a key component: the child.’
Morrison’s son Jake died while the family were on holiday in Orlando.
He drowned after he slipped out the back door in the pitch dark and fell off the dock into the intracoastal near to the house where they were staying.
Following the tragic death, the family set up a website called Live Like Jake, with the aim of bringing awareness to drowning prevention.