30 December 2022
Climbing trees is a great way for children to get exercise and have fun. It also teaches them important life skills, such as how to climb and maintain their balance. However, it is also perfectly understandable for some parents to be concerned about the safety of their children when they climb trees. We explore the risks and benefits of allowing children to climb trees, and you can decide for yourself if it is right for your child.
One of the biggest risks of climbing trees is, rather obviously, falling. A fall from a tree can, as a worst case scenario, result in fairly serious injuries such as broken bones or concussion, depending on the height of the fall. It is important that children are always supervised when they are climbing, and they should also be encouraged not to climb too high until they have more experience under their belt and are used to climbing on lower branches in order to improve their skills, balance and dexterity.
Another risk of climbing tees is getting scratched and cut by sharp branches or leaves. Children can get injured by branches or leaves when they climb trees and this can result in cuts and bleeding. They should be taught to avoid sharp branches or leaves, and wear protective clothing (such as long sleeved tops) to prevent cuts from occurring wherever possible. If you are going somewhere with your child where you know they are likely to be climbing trees, like a local park, it can be helpful to bring a first aid kit, just in case it is needed. A well-stocked first aid kit can come in useful on all kinds of family trips as kids can be clumsy at the best of times.
The benefits of climbing trees far outweigh the risks for most children, but this does depend on the individual child. Some kids are just out-and-out accident prone and it may not be the best for them. On the other hand, it may improve their balance and reduce their propensity to have accidents.
Children who climb trees will get a well-rounded form of exercise which works many different muscle groups and is beneficial for their all-round physical health. It helps to form and develop core strength and improves balance. It can develop into an interest in climbing more generally and some children end up using climbing walls etc when they are older as they have developed the base skills and interest at a young age. Climbing is a very popular sport these days and will be a good way to meet people their own age if they continue to develop their interest in it.
As with anything else in life, there are risks associated with climbing trees, but these risks can be minimised and mitigated by taking the proper precautions. If you are comfortable with your child climbing trees, they will likely enjoy it and even learn some important skills in the process that will stand them in good stead in life.