Some kids tend to show their talents at an early age and that is definitely the case for Casey and Mindi Humphreys‘ son, Rich. At just six months old, little Rich is already a water skier.
The proud parents took Rich out to Lake Powell in Utah where they filmed his first official foray into waterskiing. Nevertheless, his parents wanted him to break the world record while he was still young enough to do so.
The resulting clip, which they uploaded to social media, quickly went viral and split the internet. Some people accused the new parents of endangering their child, while others congratulated the bold and adventurous act.
In response to their critics, the Humpherys’ are speaking out. In an interview with Good Morning America aired Wednesday, the Humpherys clarified that doctors were on hand the entire time, and their pediatrician signed off on the stunt.
According to the Humphreys, the boat that was toting Rich never exceeded 5 miles an hour. Casey, Rich’s father, rode alongside in a separate boat, in case his waterskiing son wavered or needed a hand. The clip shows Rich, tiny feet loosely strapped onto a special ski, gripping an attached safety rail. Rich transitions between concentration and delight as his pint-sized ski cuts through the water.
In total, Casey said there were between 10 and 12 people involved. “A couple of doctors, a nurse on the boat,” he explained to GMA.
Commenters tore into the initial clip following its posting on Sept. 12. Critics called the Humphreys’ “extremely irresponsible” and “reckless.” Others accused the parents of “child abuse” and “endangerment.”
“No hat for the baby on a hot day. Legs look like they are going to break. I hope CPS takes the child away,” one commenter said. Many commenters expressed concern over Rich’s standing position, noting that 6-month-olds are not capable of standing without damaging their spines and legs.
According to several sources, including BabyCenter and Quest For Health KC, there is no such thing as “too early” for a baby to stand. The idea that allowing a child to support their weight too early will cause bowed legs is an old wives’ tale with no truth to it. Quest For Health notes that “standing with proper support is not only safe, but also beneficial,” to infants and toddlers.
Other people noted their fear that Rich could have toppled backward, either hitting his head on the ski or falling into the water. The video shows his father carefully waiting in the wings, however. He even reaches his hand out on occasion to ensure that his child is still firm. This helped to alleviate concerns over drowning, as well, since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants should be “within arms reach” whenever they are near water.
According to AWM, Rich’s fans immediately took notice. They started sharing the video with their family and friends. Before long, Rich had more fans than ever before – but also a growing group of haters who accused his parents of putting his life in danger.
“I hope endangering your child is worth it for the clout!” one person raged on Instagram.
“His poor little joints aren’t even fully developed yet, that’s why he’s not walking yet. If he can’t walk, do you really think this kind of stress is good for his body? Also, look up dry drowning. You are terrible parents.”
Another person added: “Good way to catch child endangerment charges.”
Overall, people accused the parents of “child abuse” and branded them “stupid” and “reckless.”
Another person called the parents “self-absorbed,” writing: “This is what happens when people need attention and bring their newborn into it.”
Watch the video below for more details: