A viral video of a baby struggling to stay afloat in a swimming pool has drawn a storm of controversy on Facebook.
The video, which was posted to the social media site on May 2, shows a baby girl in a yellow dress sitting on the steps leading into the shallow end of a swimming pool. An adult appears to be sitting on the ledge behind her.
At the beginning of the clip, the woman filming the video lures the child off the steps with a blue sandal. When the baby reaches out to grab the sandal, she flops face-first into the water.
The infant then manages to flip herself over on her back and float in the water. The child, who is seen in the nearly 2-minute clip flapping her arms in the water and whimpering, appears to be uncomfortable as she struggles to stay afloat.
After more than one minute, the adult behind the camera picks up the baby and soothes her.
The video was posted with the caption, "So hard to watch but every kid should learn this young." It has gone viral with nearly 400,000 views and 8,000 shares in four days.
Facebook users writing in the comments section posted mixed reactions to the video.
Some supported the adults' actions and wrote about the importance of teaching infants to float in water as a potentially life-saving measure.
"This baby has obviously gone through infant safety self rescue classes," one poster commented. "To pass they need to not only be able to back float like this child but also do it fully clothed in jackets and boots. … If this baby ever fell into a body of water, she would be able to save herself long enough for someone to come help her."
"Child was not in any danger," another user posted. "There were obviously adults around and the baby was doing well. Great parenting. Showing others how this teaching can save lives."
However, other commenters criticized the video and expressed concern for the baby's safety.
"I think it's horrible," one poster wrote. "That baby should have felt that [their] parents would help and comfort. Not just letting her suffer like that. It was obviously stressful for the baby."
"I seriously dislike people who does things like this," another commented. "I UNDERSTAND teaching your child to swim is important but at an appropriate age! That baby may be trained for that, but she seriously seems uncomfortable to me!"
Infant Swimming Resource, or ISR, is a safety program in which instructors teach infants to stay afloat in water in 10-minute daily lessons over six weeks, according to Today. The course is designed to help save lives, since drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1 to 3 in 30 states.
An adult in the Facebook video said the baby shown in the video is 6 and a half months old.