Is this child abuse/neglect?

Sorry I can’t provide a cite, but here’s the story as I know it.

Saturday in Madison there was a fundraising event in which people jump into the local lake through a hole cut into the ice. A quick dip, and then they climb or are hauled out. There’s a pretty well known group called the Polar Bears club that does the same thing, but AFAIK that group was not affiliated with this event. It was very cold, single digits with a 20mph or so wind.

One of those who jumped was a 4 year old child. There was no apparent coercion by the parents. Nevertheless, I was really pretty shocked that it was allowed.

But I’m not a parent, so I’m particularly interested in parents reactions to this.

Parent here. IMO, if the kid wanted to do it, and was only in for a quick dip, I don’t see the harm. I’d let my kid do it if he really wanted to. Wouldn’t catch me doing it though. Brrr!

Letting a child be childlike is not abuse.

That said, a responsible parent would only allow it if a blanket or dry clothes were available, as I’m sure there were.

Wow, Boyo Jum I was at that event. Yes, I jumped in, though I didn’t have a 4-year-old with me.

I don’t think it’s so bad. From what you say, it’s not like they tossed the kid in against his will. My experience with the jump was pretty good–the hot-tubs afterwards helped. And given the large numbers of EMTs and firefighters, I think a)they wouldn’t have allowed it if they thought it was abuse and b)if something had gone wrong, there would have been many trained people able to help.

This sounds very fooolish to me. That icy water could send a young child into shock. Children’s metabolisms are not the same as an adults.
Some parents made a big mistake.

My roommate was there as well.

I don’t think I would have let my kids do it when they were that age, just to be on the safe side.

I’d be thinking how horrible it would be if I let them do it, and something did go wrong. Even with EMT’s there, it’s still my responsibility to protect my kid. Naw, I’d give it a pass myself.

Not sure if I’d go so far as to call it child abuse or neglect though.

This seems one of those borderline things to me. But it also seems, that on the borderline, parents should opt for their child’s safety.

I suppose it’s better to have their kids do stuff under supervision. But I remember the 12(?) year old who was killed trying to be the youngest to fly around the world, under supervision.

Seems foolish. Parents ought to set examples by NOT allowing foolishness. But in retrospect, I’d have to agree that I misapplied the terms abuse/neglect.

the adults doing that are making an adult choice to take the risk. Water that cold could send a small child right into shock and kill him. The parent was wrong to allow it. It was child endangerment.

It’s not abuse, that implies that the parents actively did something that was harmful to the child

Neglect- meaning that the parents were derelict in their duty to watch out for the welfare of the child?

A 4 year old? hmmmm.

I wouldn’t call it prudent in any case. Maybe both parents are pediatricians and know better than any of us do, but I doubt it.

I have to think about this differently because I’m a mandated reporter, and have to ask myself if I should report this to protective services or lose my license.

yeah, now that I think about it, it was neglectful.

I think it was very abusive. Parents are there to be the parents. Kids want to do a lot of things they shouldn’t. That’s why we are here. I have one year old daughter and in 3 years if she wants to do that, I’ll say no. I have to wonder if they checked with the child’s doctor before hand or not.

I didn’t mean to ad very. Oops.