Police asked to probe the dangers of ‘baby yoga’

Director of the Israel Council for the Child expressed alarm after seeing television investigation.

baby yoga 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
baby yoga 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A prominent child physician has asked the Israel Police to investigate whether an extreme form of “baby yoga” – where young children are tossed in the air, and their necks and heads shaken – is too dangerous to practice.
Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, director of the Israel Council for the Child, pursued the investigation after becoming alarmed by the growing trend.
The Health Ministry also issued a warning to parents to be careful in practicing baby yoga, but did not ask the police for an investigation.
Baby yoga, which originated in Russia, has been praised as beneficial calisthenics for young children, and a way of bonding between parent and child.
However, according to a recent investigation on Channel 10 by Oshrat Kotler, the exercise can mimic Shaken Baby Syndrome. SBS is often fatal, and can result in serious brain damage, creating lifelong disability. The brain may also suffer subdural hematoma, which involves internal bleeding and fractures.
Kadman told The Jerusalem Post that he was shocked by what he saw on television.
“There were no reports of physical damage, but that can appear months later, and be mistaken as learning disabilities or worse,” he cautioned.
Kadman added that he hadn’t found a single physician who thought the movements presented on the program were not harmful.
Indeed, he cautioned that the extreme motions could cause dislocated shoulders, fractured arms or broken feet.
Babies viewed by Oshrat underwent gentle exercise – but were also dragged and hurled in the air, suffering whiplash.
Pediatricians who commented on the broadcast said the exercises looked very dangerous.
The Israel National Center for Child Safety and Health did not comment on Thursday, stating it had not studied the broadcast, but expressed interest in investigating.