Can you believe this?
Infants swimming under water...
Hoax or Fact:
The video messages claim to show infant babies swimming underwater nicely and efficiently. The video is real, the message is a fact.
How is it Possible
Babies grow for nine months inside a mother's womb, in the amniotic fluid, a water kind of environment, where they learn to survive mechanical shocks naturally. They respire and survive through the umbilical cord in their abdomen connected to the mother. When they are born, and as their lungs develop, they adapt to breathing in the outer environment. Until certain age in infancy, the babies have the natural reflex of closing their epiglottis when they are underwater. This prevents the water going into the respiratory pathways and lungs, and instead goes into the stomach. So there will be no real danger of suffocation under water - for certain period of time.
Because of these natural features, the infant babies will have two reflexes that will make them good swimmers.
The Dive Reflex
When a baby dives in water, he holds his breath and opens his eyes when submerged. This is called dive reflex. This allows him to stay underwater for certain period of time.
Swedish researchers who studied this dive reflex in 21 infants aged between 4 to 12 months found that none of the babies inhaled water or choked during "diving" (i.e. being pulled underwater). It was also observed that the babies did not seem to fear the next dive, some of them in fact were eager to dive again.
This is a natural response the infants have to hold their breath underwater, and this response weakens as they grow up. The adults hold their breath 'intentionally' when they are underwater, and this makes it difficult for them to stay long in the waters.
The Swimming Reflex
The infant babies also have a pair of reflexes that coordinate the movement of their legs and hands, which makes them appear to be good swimmers. Studies show that babies aged until 6 months, when placed in water with their tummy-side down, will move their arms and legs in a swimming motion. This is similar to their motion in their mother's womb.
So together the natural reflexes of diving and swimming in infants makes them look like natural swimmers, as it appears in the video above. The video on right shows and explains how infants manage to swim underwater. The pictures in image section below show how beautiful and cute the babies can be when they are enjoying their swim underwater.
However, this does not mean that you should force your infants to swim, because doctors say that it may not always be safe, and the possibility of swallowing more of pool water is also dangerous for the baby. Baby swimming can be a family affair with extreme care - only when the baby is enjoying his splash in water. It is interesting to note that there are good number of baby swimming clubs, lessons and classes coming up around the world.