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snopes 04 April 2013 03:33 AM

Floating babies
Comment: I have been a coach, a swimmer, a swim instructor and and All
American Swimmer...way back in the 70s.

I am hearing about this idiotic website about how babies fall into the
water and learn to flip on their back until rescued. Impossible is my
thought. Babies, like adults when go into panic inhale. If they follow the
'swimming rules' they will inhale water into their lungs and yet all these
well meaning mothers are signing up for these classes. I think it is a
hoax. Red Cross says so too. Children CANNOT be unattended, nor let go of
their parents/guardian until they are at least three. I have had many many
students at age 8-10 who were in these classes and won't go near the
water. I hold them, I gain their confidence and help them. What are the
rumors or are there any?

Nana M 04 April 2013 06:06 AM

Is it safe to take infants to swimming classes? Yes. Is it safe to toss a baby into a swimming pool? No, absolutely not. Babies do have a dive reflex, but it's not the same as the 'dolphin dive reflex' as it is often called. The dive reflex only works in cold water, so most swimming pools won't trigger it anyway. As explained in this article,

To return to the main point of this article: is it safe to immerse your baby in water? If your baby is fit, healthy and well then the answer is probably yes, but since the true dive reflex is triggered by very cold water and leads to a drop in your baby’s heart beat, I cannot see why anyone would want to rely on this.
In other words, make sure you find a reputable swim instructor if you intend to have your infant learn to swim.

Lainie 04 April 2013 12:55 PM

I was criticized on Facebook for daring to be questioning of a post about this "method," and to offer a counterpoint from the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Nick Theodorakis 04 April 2013 02:39 PM

Pfft. What do they know about babies?


GenYus234 04 April 2013 02:44 PM

I know. I looked it up and they do not have a single baby on their staff, nor is any baby a member of the Academy.

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