UKC

/ Climbing kids: BE CAREFUL

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Deadeye - on 15 Apr 2018

This thread:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/bouldering/teenage_boy_and_slopers__mantles-683079

got my goat a little.

Kids' bodies are still developing and very prone to damage that will produce long-term problems.

A chiropodist friend regularly bemoans the lasting damage parents do to their childrens' feet with ill-fitting shoes.  Her view is that rock boots are an acute version of the problem.  If a child climbs regularly and for long sessions (a few hours) then there is a high risk of lasting damage to the structure of the bones.  As this is the first generation where large numbers of kids climb from an early age, we don't know the full impact; but the data from ballet etc. doesn't look good.  Everyone knows bout the damage high heels do to childrens' feet; rock boots may be worse.

Similarly hands.  Climbing places extraordinary forces on bones, tendons, pulleys, ligaments, cartilages.  Yes, kids are light.  And yes, the joints can withstand the loads.  What's different is that it's not a short-term, one-off loading but a long-term, repetitive one.

People are starting younger and more intensively than ever before.  But parents, please consider whether your vicarious pride is worth the damage that is likely to be accruing.

 

bouldery bits - on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to Deadeye:

Couldn't agree more. Very sensible points made.

I would like to add a little balance and say that it's definitely a good thing children are getting in to climbing at an early age. Getting children active and making exercise an important part of people's lives from an early age is really important.

I do agree that care has to be taken with climbing (as with any sport or activity for children!) though and appropriate equipment needs to be used and considered. 

This thread won't get very far because I don't think you've said anything anyone could disagree with.

 

BB

Post edited at 21:57
LeeWood - on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to bouldery bits:

> This thread won't get very far because I don't think you've said anything anyone could disagree with.

well theres a challenge :D I don't exactly disagree but a key motivation with my 13yr old is to encourage any activity to get him away from his smartphone (or other screen) - which raises the debate 'Is the visible/physiological damage resulting from such early sport stress worse than the invisible/mental resulting from screen overdose?

 

Scott K - on 10:27 Mon
In reply to Deadeye:

Be very aware of any growth spurts as that is when the damage to growth plates can occur. Best to ease off for a few months. Also, any pain or aches during the session - knock it on the head.

My daughter has climbed from age 8 (19 now) with no injuries-probably through good luck rather than judgement - but we never pushed a session that wasn't working or ignored any aches.

Post edited at 10:27
summo on 10:38 Mon
In reply to Deadeye:

I agree. I think shoe manufacturers could help by lowering their margin on all sport shoes for kids, our kids go through a size at least every year, it's not cheap when your gang do multiple sports. It might also help poorer parents as I can imagine many are priced out completely. 

LeeWood - on 13:36 Mon
In reply to summo:

when I last purchased for my lad  insisted he size-up with thickish socks to allow for growth - he's now using them without socks before the next change - and otherwise they needn't be ultra tight - for kids or adults

 

summo on 13:42 Mon
In reply to LeeWood:

> when I last purchased for my lad  insisted he size-up with thickish socks to allow for growth - he's now using them without socks before the next change - and otherwise they needn't be ultra tight - for kids or adults

Like your thinking there, saving money and his feet. 


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