Baby twirled on Internet video like a wet rag - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Baby twirled on Internet video like a wet rag

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

November 11, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Another shocking Internet video that shows a nine month old baby being slug around like a wet rag.

It's difficult to watch.  While the baby appears to be having fun, Pediatricians say the motions could cause whiplash, dislocated joints, and even death. The video was posted on a video sharing web site called liveleak.com.

It's not only disturbing to people who watch it, but the web site itself has issued a call for help in identifying the young man who swings the baby in the video.

It's frightening to watch this man swing around a 9 month old like a rag doll. Parents cringe at the site, so do pediatricians.

"Ah, that's pretty bad," said Dr. Bruce Smith, Southwest Georgia Pediatrics PC.

Dr. Bruce Smith said while it's better that the motion is fluid, it could still cause whiplash which can lead to blindness or death.

"A baby can actually get a cervical spine rupture without breaking the neck bone," said Smith.

Swinging a child that fast by one arm could also cause nursemaid's elbow or dislocation of the shoulder as the child is flipped over one direction and then the other. But what causes someone to tape something like this and then post it for others to see? Psychologist Cheryl Kaiser said it's the same reason people stare at a crash as they go by.

"It's natural for us to look and make sure that somebody is healthy or well. It's natural for us to look when we see something that could potentially be wrong," said Dr. Cheryl Kaiser of Insight.

Liveleak.com has posted a warning and appears to be trying to help by asking anyone with information about the video to contact the site. Kaiser says ultimately the responsibility falls to sites like YouTube who removed the Lee County flying baby video from its site.

"These sites have demonstrated to us these sites have responsibility for managing what goes on, on their sites and having something that puts a baby at this much risk, I mean that baby's head is very close to the TV," said Kaiser.

While Dr. Bruce Smith encourages fathers to airplane their newborn children because the movement stimulates the semi-circular canal and creates better motor skills, he says this video goes too far, and is far too dangerous for any adult to try.

You'll likely recall that in June, two Lee County teens got into trouble for posting a YouTube video in which a nine month old baby was catapulted across a room. The baby was okay.

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