Parents accused of child abuse over water-skiing six-month old son
Rich Casey Humpherys beams from ear to ear as he cruises along the crystal clear waters of Lake Powell in Utah – but not everyone found the record-breaking tot’s antics so endearing
Some may look at this water-skiing baby and think him incredible and adorable.
But not everyone is so delighted by the delightful tot’s watersport antics, and have criticised his parents for what is seen as putting shredding over safety – even claiming it is a form of ‘child abuse’.
At six months and four days old, Rich Casey Humpherys has smashed a world-record many may wonder why it existed.
This month he became the youngest ever water skier.
A video posted on Instagram reads: “I went water skiing for my 6 month birthday. Apparently that’s a big deal … #worldrecord.”
The adorable image shows baby Rich in a little life-jacket, beaming from ear to ear as he gently cruises the crystal clear waters of Lake Powell, Utah on a bar-topped board, clasping onto the bar while the boat in front pulls him along.
Many commenters found the picture adorable, but parents Casey and Mindi Humpherys were slammed by some for what was perceived as a failure to prioritising their child’s health.
One wrote: “Yes [you’re] an adventurous family but this just isn’t okay.
“So many things could have gone wrong. [It’s] not cute just for likes.”
“So dangerous and stupid,” one person wrote.
Another added: “He looks scared and unsure.”
But another commenter leaped to the family’s defence.
One wrote: “The haters can’t relate … their kids are probably on video games all day.”
Another commented: “This is NOT child abuse. Ppl need to stop always coddling their children this baby is 6 months and is living his best life.”
Baby Rich’s parents have created an Instagram account to document his many wild adventures – though it is unlikely he will be able to recall them all when he gets older.
So far the social media account shows him riding a turtle, meeting horses, spending Independence Day on a boat and exploring America’s state parks.
On a picture of them together, his mum wrote: “You are my definition of perfection. Exploring Montana with my little best friend.”
His parents say their son enjoys the sport and is advanced for his age. He had been training to take up water-skiing, with Casey and Mindi helping him practise in the lounge.
Mindi and Casey told 7 News: “He was able to stand on his own at three months and shortly after started pulling himself up onto furniture.”
“We work very hard on his posture when he crawls and stands so that he stays healthy based off of recommendations from his paediatrician.”
They added that a lot of preparation and safety precautions go into Rich’s fun and they would “never put him in harm’s way”.
The world record for youngest water skier had been held by Florida baby Zyla St. Onge, who held it from 2016 when she was just 6 months and 27 days old.