The mother of a three-year-old says her daughter was injured at a Montreal swimming pool after she refused to comply with lifeguards' request that the child wear a bathing suit top.

It all started after Véronique Shapiro and her daughter arrived at the John F. Kennedy pool in Outremont, a borough in Montreal, on Wednesday.

“I never put a bikini top on my daughter,” Shapiro said.

This time, however, a lifeguard told her that girls over two years old need to wear a bathing suit top. Shapiro refused to comply, arguing that there were no signs posted stipulating that rule. 

“It’s a rule that shouldn’t exist,” said Shapiro.

“It’s totally absurd, discriminatory and sexist. They’re sexualizing a three-year-old girl by telling her she needs to hide her private parts."

Argument led to fall, mom says

Shapiro said an argument with two lifeguards over her topless toddler became a physical altercation.

She alleged that she was tripped by one of the lifeguards, sending her and her daughter, who was in her arms, to the ground. The child's forehead was scraped in the fall, she said.

Paramedics took the girl to hospital. 

Montreal police are investigating, and the pool was closed for the day. Shapiro filed a complaint with police, and said one was also filed against her.

No charges have been laid.

Shapiro said the rule about wearing a top should apply for older children, perhaps starting at age seven or eight.

Outremont Mayor Marie Cinq-Mars said she could not find a borough rule that states girls over two years old are required to wear a bathing suit top.

“I’m looking, and I don’t see a rule about that. If there is one, it would be the swimming pool’s internal policy,” she said.