The little boy's parents taught him how to swim as well as to water ski on land before letting him go into the water.
Parents want to see their children succeed and it gives them a special joy to see them start doing extraordinary things at a young age. While safety is absolutely important, children sometimes do take up extreme sports after getting the right training. The only way to nurture talent is to give them a platform and perhaps, start young and have faith. However, one couple has faced some backlash online after letting their young child water ski.
In the viral video, 6-month-old Rich Humphreys can be seen standing on a waterboard while skiing in Lake Powell for the first time. The child's father, Casey Humphreys had shared the video with the caption, "6 months 4 days! Take one look at this kid and tell me he isn’t having the time of his life! Such a little stud! #worldrecord."
After the video went viral, many concerned folks commented on the video saying that this was unsafe. However, Rich's mother, Mindi, defended their decision and told Good Morning America, "He’s just so full of life. He loves the water."
Casey and Mindi said that the boat was going at 5 miles an hour and Casey was by his son's side throughout the trip. "We had a separate boat out there," the father said, adding that 10 to 12 people, including doctors and nurses, were with them.
The video was shared by Barstools Sports and garnered more than two million views. It also seems to have triggered backlash with people calling the parents "irresponsible" for allowing their child to water ski. However, there were others who supported the parents for making extra effort to teach water sports to their child at a young age.
"Y’all have one cute and gifted baby boy! When it’s time to enroll him in school have that cutie patootie tested to be in gifted and talented classes! Y’all have a very very smart 6 month old baby. Also, I want to praise y’all for being great parents for teaching him how to water ski on land and in the water first and taking all the necessary precautions before putting him behind the boat. Fantastic parents and such a beautiful baby boy y’all have," said one commenter.
Rich's love for watersports was fueled by his parents, who are outdoorsy folks. They had enrolled their child for infant swimming classes and also built him the custom board he was water-skiing on. They also practiced on land before letting their son go into the water with support. During the experience, Rich wore a tiny life vest in his size, was strapped onto small footholds on top of the board, and held onto a large handle.
"I really feel like the majority of criticism comes from people caring and people just being concerned and wanting the best for our child," Mindi told GMA. "So honestly we appreciate that."
The parents also consulted with a medical professional before letting their child onto the water board. "We talked to his pediatrician and before we water-skied, he was super impressed by how far along Rich(sic) and he’s really well developed for his age," she said. "He said it’s fine and to not worry."
After all, children don't have the neck and muscle control to stop themselves from toppling over. American Academy of Pediatrics also says that children should be within reach of an adult when around water. "He has never fallen off of it before," Casey, the proud father, said. "When we put him on the board and had him on the top he, he was right at home," he added.
The dad is also excited about his son's future and hopes that he sticks to water sports so he can attain worldwide fame one day. "Whether you agree with what we’ve done for Rich and what he accomplished or not, you can understand how exciting it is to see your child accomplish something," Casey added.