FILED IN: Safety

New Zealand father criticized for wanting to take toddler skydiving

Skydiving dad and toddler sparks outrage from experts

Aaron Marriott is having second thoughts about skydiving with his toddler son after mounting criticism. Photo via hinnamsaisuy.

A New Zealand father is having second thoughts about jumping off a plane with his 2-year-old son. Aaron Marriott wanted to give his son, Elijah, a chance to free fall for about 10 seconds, from 8,000 feet until a parachute could guide them down after a planned skydiving adventure. If the stunt goes off without a hitch, the father and son duo would jump in tandem, with the toddler strapped to his father and could break a world record. Marriott, who owns a skydiving shop in Auckland claims the jump was Elijah’s idea. But experts have been quick to weigh in on the potential risks that a toddler might face while participating in such an extreme sport.

Last year, Marriott took Elijah’s older brother, Kobe, skydiving when he was just 3-years-old. Marriott and his wife claim that Kobe loved it wants to do it again.

Today Marriott responded to his critics who claimed that Elijah’s brain was still too premature and that such a jump could cause brain damage. Marriott said that he’s been in the skydiving business for 16 years and will take extra precautions with his toddler son. He also says that instead of jumping from the usual 11,500 ft., they will dive from 8,000 ft. A typical jump would cause the youngster to have to hold his breath for up to a minute. At 8,000 ft., Marriott claims the tot will only have to hold his breath about 10 seconds which he says is doable.

Other criticism, which have come from various sources such as friends and pediatricians, has charged that the harnesses are not built for kids as young as Elijah and will be ill fitting to ethical questions about how a 2-year-old can offer informed consent.

With all the negative publicity surrounding the stunt, Marriott is now considering calling the whole thing off. According to Stuff News, Marriott said, “He’s still very excited, but to be honest I didn’t want this much publicity about it.”