A rock climbing toddler is at the center of a heated online debate about whether children should be engaging in this potentially dangerous sport.
Climbing enthusiast Morgan visited The Doctors to share her story of how her 3-year-old daughter sparked the controversy.
“People will criticize things they don’t understand. To some families it may look really extreme and it may look dangerous, but it’s not. Safety is very important to us,” the mother, who has shared numerous jaw-dropping photos of her daughter on social media, says. “I was surprised about how harsh some of the negative comments were, saying I should be charged with child endangerment.”
According to Morgan, some choices other parents make are far more dangerous than rock climbing.
“Child endangerment to me is having your child sit in front of an iPad all weekend and not being outside. Or eating fast food and things of that sort,” she explains.
Morgan’s daughter is seen in some photos posted online climbing without wearing a helmet, which OB-GYN Dr. Jennifer Ashton asks about.
“Should she have a helmet on when she’s swinging in the breeze?” Dr. Ashton inquires.
“When she does climb, she typically wears a helmet. There are times when she has gone up, just out of arms reach, where she just kind of wants to hang out, where she’s not actually climbing. So, she’s not wearing a helmet, but most of the time she does wear a helmet,” she tells The Doctors.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon worries about the possibility of the toddler being injured. “You’re creating a potential for an accident… even with a helmet on,” he tells the mother.
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork defends Morgan’s decision to take her daughter climbing, saying, “At jungle gyms and playgrounds across this country, kids are hanging upside down, 10 feet high.”
“This is far more dangerous than a jungle gym,” Dr. Ordon interjects.
But could the rock climbing toddler controversy foster better communication among families about limits regarding safety?
“I think that we have to be very careful to judge other parents. When that is your child, you are in charge of what that child does… very few people would roll the dice with their child’s life,” Dr. Ashton adds, noting that many things kids do pose their own risks. “I think that this brings up a very interesting discussion for people to have, in their own social circles, with their own families, even with their pediatricians and their doctors. Where do you personally draw the line? And as we all know, riding bikes can be dangerous, skiing can be dangerous, scuba diving, people jump out of planes, the playground can be dangerous.”
Would you take your toddler rock climbing? Share your thoughts in the comments section!