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child safe whilst tree climbing

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:15 pm
by sharahax
What equipment would I need to keep my child safe whilst tree climbing? I'm quite happy for my kids to climb trees but when they get to a certain height, it all gets a bit scary. What equipment would be needed to get them down safely and stop them in a fall. Does it require the whole harness, rope, belay device type climbing setup? Please list an inventory of items.
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Re: child safe whilst tree climbing

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:18 pm
by Nic Le Maitre
Hi

If you are that worried then I would recommend that you take some sort of belaying course (try Venture Forth or similar). However none of this changes that someone will have to get the rope UP the tree first...

Owning all the equipment does not confer competency. There is no substitute for experience

Re: child safe whilst tree climbing

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:29 pm
by Justin
It is going to be more trouble than its worth and you or someone (responsible) will need to hold the rope while your child climbs.

As mentioned by Nic - depending on their age you want to teach your kids how to be safe at height and they will need to be taught this by an instructor or someone experienced enough to show them (+ the rope up the tree first).

Re: child safe whilst tree climbing

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:39 pm
by Ghaznavid
When I was 5 I fell out of a tree and broke my arm - and I turned out to be only about 80% abnormal...

Its normal for kids to climb trees and get injured. You could always put high jump mats around the tree, get them to wear a helmet etc :eye:

Some actual advice: take them to a climbing gym and let them climb there - its safe and controlled environment and most kids love it.

Re: child safe whilst tree climbing

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:32 pm
by henkg
Falling out of the tree and decking is not your only problem. Falling on or into a branch or a stump is as dangerous, and here a rope will do no good. Kids must climb and one cannot protect them from all harm. I am aware of the death of a young child falling from a tree. In this case it was not the deck, but a branch that caused the fatality.

Grim reading, I know.

Re: child safe whilst tree climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:43 pm
by Warren G
If the kid is small enough, couldn't you just spot them- I have heard of people catching falling kids. Put a mattress under if need be.

Otherwise I do believe there is something to be said for not being overly cautious in these sorts of things- surely one wants to develop adventure, and yes, trusting one's own abilities? I would rather be dealing with the odd stitch and broken bone than a child growing up in front of the TV/ Computer, fearing physical effort and the outdoors.

Doing nothing is the surest way of accomplishing little.

Re: child safe whilst tree climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:25 pm
by SNORT
Kids have been climbing and falling off trees and falling off Jungle Gyms forever. As an orthopaedic surgeon, I rarely see children with injuries from falling out of trees. And very few are serious.

If kids do not take some risk they will never learn to manage it.

Kids are not dumb. They generally will not climb more than 3m before getting too scared.

We live in an age where we molly coddle our children on the one hand but are happy to see them brutalized on the rugby field or in the karate dojo. Where again, serious injuries are rare before teenage years.

Do I worry when my kids climb things? Sure I do. Do I stop them? No.

Life without (managed) risk and adventure is not worth living.

If kids are not exposed to adventure and risk when they are small I am convinced they will either become whimps or take stupid risks later on in life such as experimenting with drugs, risky sex, late nights out when there are drunk drivers and the like.

Re: child safe whilst tree climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:55 pm
by Justin
@ Snort - I concur

Re: child safe whilst tree climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:07 pm
by Ghaznavid
SNORT wrote:We live in an age where we molly coddle our children
I read an interesting study on the correlation between supervision and control of children vs life success and happiness - it has been shown that, by far, children who are allowed to do whatever they want when they are very young are usually the best behaved, most successful and happiest later in life (not just as a child).

The study also showed that there is a high correlation between teen suicide and places where "the right to roam freely" is not granted to children.

In some tribes in South America, children are granted the right to do as they wish from age 2. They join their parents in hunting etc from a really young age. By the age of 5 many of these children are already hunting on their own and looking after themselves without parental supervision.

We often forget that until not very long ago (probably 200-300 years ago), a 13 year old was considered to be an adult. We also forget that numerous studies have shown that most people who are not subject to many rules tend to set very strict rules for themselves and are more likely to stick to their own rules.

Re: child safe whilst tree climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:56 pm
by henkg
Interesting concept and studies Jonathan. I do however believe even in the times we live, the majority of parents know from their gut, a child who is allowed to "do whatever they want" is a terror. In my books, until age three, they must be taught to obey without question. Learning to subject to parental authority is prerequisite before freedom can be enjoyed. I would venture that this has been accepted standard of upbringing over centuries across many cultures. You are of course free to experiment otherwise.

Re: child safe whilst tree climbing

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:58 pm
by henkg
Btw, my kids are frequently on the house's roof, the dig climbing, and I encourage this.