This baby signed ‘help’ during a photo with Santa Claus

Twitter / @Swilua

For many young kids, meeting Santa can be a daunting and emotional experience. Sometimes it can simply be too much and you just need to get out of there.

One incredible child used sign language to express his need to get away from Father Christmas and quickly went viral.

Just as most adults might subtly text a message of 'help' under the table to a friend or whisper an SOS to a colleague at a Christmas party, this one-year-old quietly signed 'help' next to a cheery, oblivious Santa Claus.

Mum Kerry Spencer tweeted the picture - and it soon went viral.

Spencer taught both her children sign language, as some young ones can learn to sign before they expand their spoken vocabulary.

Some people on Twitter pointed out that it doesn't look like he's using the correct sign for 'help'. However, Spencer said that he is using ASL baby sign language, and is slightly 'mispronouncing' the word.

She told indy100:

Some people have criticized his sign. 

And he is slightly mispronouncing the word--his thumb should be up, not sideways--but that is to be expected when a baby is signing! 

They are still very capable of communicating and fear of "doing it wrong" should certainly not keep anyone from learning to sign! 

Here's the correct sign:

Spencer said it was a family tradition to post the photo of her son - who is now 13 - on Facebook every year.

But this winter, a family friend convinced her to share it on Twitter.

Spencer told indy100 that the tweet going viral has been largely positive for the family:

Most people have just been laughing--which, really, is the best response to this.

It has made us laugh for years.

She added:

Sam has been pretty chill about internet fame.

Other than asking us to separate his M&M's by color because he's famous of course.

More: The difference between American and British Christmas

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