Child Protective Services reportedly investigated two Kentucky parents after their 6-year-old son ran with them in a marathon.
What are the details?
The Crawford family — consisting of parents Kami and Ben and their six children — competed as a family in the Flying Pig Marathon, an annual race that takes place in Cincinnati on the first Sunday of May. The marathon is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon.
The family completed the 26.2-mile marathon in 8 hours and 35 minutes.
But now they’re being accused of “child abuse,” according to WCPO-TV, because their youngest child — 6-year-old Rainier — competed in the event. Last Friday, CPS even visited the family home to interview the family.
The Crawfords explained in an Instagram post that CPS “arrived at our home unannounced and interviewed our children, parents & grandmother.”
“This is a scary process because usually children are interrogated away from parents, against their will, and their answers determine the agency’s legal right to take away the kids,” the post added. “CPS requires SPECIFIC actions be reported like times, locations and specific abuses. Since these do not exist people had to make them up.”
The specific complaint claimed the parents dragged their young child for more than 13 miles until they reached the finish line, “pulling him against his will.” But eyewitnesses who were present during the marathon, and their own video footage, contradicts the allegations, the parents explained, adding that their son’s only complaint was that he wanted to finish the race in less time.
The Crawfords said two social service agents who spoke with their family determined “that we have nothing to worry about.”
In an interview with “Good Morning America,” the parents defended their decision to let their young son run the marathon. They explained each of their children chose independently to compete, and none of their children were forced to do anything they did not want to do.
What do doctors say?
Pediatrician Dr. Christopher Bolling told WCPO that young children should avoid some exercise methods typically reserved for teenagers and adults, such as resistance training, because their bodies are rapidly growing. But he said running is typically OK, although a full marathon is “unusual.”
Meanwhile, pediatrician Dr. Jay Lovenheim told NBC’s “TODAY Parents” that running a marathon is “fine” for young children.
“If they’ve been training and taking rest days and they’re being monitored and there’s no signs of heat exhaustion — I really don’t see a whole lot of risk,” Lovenheim said. “I’d be a little more concerned if they were running regular marathons. One marathon is fine.
Parents of 6-year-old who ran Flying Pig Marathon respond to backlash