Police shelve investigation into controversial ‘baby flying’ courses
Police have shelved an investigation into an unusual practice dubbed ‘baby flying’, in which infants – some as young as three weeks old – are swung around by their hands and feet. The courses had been offered by a private childcare specialist in Prague. But the police became involved when Czech Television aired hidden camera footage of the practice, which paediatricians say is dangerous.
The seminars had been offered by Blanka Kolářová Sudíková, who specialises in swimming courses for parents and their infant children. They were abandoned after Czech Television aired hidden camera footage earlier this year, showing screaming babies being swung around wildly by their parents.
Mrs Kolářová Sudíková spoke to the online newspaper iDNES of her great relief, saying she was convinced all along the practice was not harmful, and that the babies in the video were crying because their parents were just learning the various manoeuvres. She told the website she remained firm in her belief that baby flying was beneficial to child health:
Mrs Kolářová Sudíková says baby flying improves circulation and prevents muscular and joint disorders. However paediatricians quoted in the media and interviewed by police beg to differ, saying vigorous swinging can cause brain haemorrhages and severe joint injuries. But for now, in the absence of any parents who took part in the course willing to come forward and testify against the practice, the police investigation has been shelved. Mrs Kolářová Sudíková says she no longer runs the seminars at Prague’s A-Centre, but continues to offer one-on-one courses to individual parents.