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Should I get a fire pit or similiar with a 3 & 1/2 year old?

25 replies

Stealthynamechange · 19/10/2020 10:05

just that really, I've been thinking how to make winter special, im a single mum I have ds every weekend, I'm thinking toasted marshmellows etc is it too risky? Any thoughts?

OP posts:
Juniperandrage · 19/10/2020 11:19

I wouldn't risk it to be honest. but if you do maybe fence it in some way so your little one can't get to it? Maybe start a thread on how to make winter special for littles? I'm going to have a snuggly afternoon once a week with onesies, hot chocolate, and a film

AvoidingRealHumans · 19/10/2020 11:23

Is this for outside?
I have one with a 6 & 9 yr old and whenever we have it on I'm panicking as soon as the 6yr old comes in the garden.
He could be nowhere near it and I'm still on edge, I worry he will trip and fall into it rather than him be silly and touch it etc.
It can be done but you would have to be so vigilant, mine do love toasting marshmallows its our main use of it.

yellowmaoampinball · 19/10/2020 11:23

It really depends on the 3 year old. I've had 3 year olds toasting marshmallows on fires at that age - as long as you can give them one to one attention while you do it to ensure their safety and you know they're are the type of 3 year olds to listen to instruction, I don't see why not. Have a bucket of water handy just in case - if nothing else to put the fire out quickly if they're being daft and giddy and you need to end things ASAP.

Tamingofthehamster · 19/10/2020 11:23

Yes I would. They used to have bonfires at my dc’s nursery. Obviously well supervised. I assume you mean one3.5 year rather than a 3 year old and a baby?

DonLewis · 19/10/2020 11:25

I am exactly the same as @AvoidingRealHumans. The on edge bit and the fear of a trip into rather than silliness!

user1471565182 · 19/10/2020 11:26

I've just got myself a samova- you could maybe look at something similar or a camping stove

user1471565182 · 19/10/2020 11:29

This is similar to the one I got except mine burns other types of fuel as well and is a bit bigger I think. You can open the door to cook things or you can get ones with a built in hob or grill bit. The fires enclosed.

megletthesecond · 19/10/2020 11:33

No. Not if you're a lone parent.
There's no one watching the dc's if you have to nip inside. (Anxious LP here).

ItsAllGoingToBeFine · 19/10/2020 11:36

Absolutely fine. Obviously never leave DC unattended. Also have a rule that within the fire circle (defined by you) you can only be on your knees / bum - not standing, and no running near the fire. Also sticks poked into the fire have to stay in the fire (unless they have a marshmallow on them). Always have a big bucket of water next to the fire.

unlimiteddilutingjuice · 19/10/2020 11:40

I would do it.
Fires are fun and three is old enough to learn fire safety rules.
Some standard ones:
Sit, don't stand around the fire
To reach the other side of the fire...walk around the backs of the seats, dont cut across the circle between the seats and the fire
Don't touch the fire or poke sticks in it (obviously!)
Don't wear dressing up clothes near the fire (They aren't required to meet the same fire safety standard as normal clothes

aceyace · 19/10/2020 11:41

Yes we have one and so does school and nursery

StrictlyAFemaleFemale · 19/10/2020 13:09

We have one. Ds (asd, limited vocab) then 4 said fire pop pop pop. Pause. Do you want to make popcorn on the fire? Yes!

We love ours.

IHateWasps · 19/10/2020 13:37

I personally wouldn't. I couldn't relax and they can be just as dangerous the day after. A friend's four year old suffered horrific burns when he put his hands into the pit the day after it'd been lit. A quick Google shows so many children being burned by them, often the day after it was used. You don't have anyone else to supervise if you have to do something/are distracted. There 's also the environmental impact to consider.

user1471565182 · 19/10/2020 13:41

Surely you pour water on it when you're finished?

PicsInRed · 19/10/2020 13:45

God no. Just one trip and their lives are ruined. Same reason not to have an open fire - all the historic horrific injuries and deaths.

I keep my distance from open camp flame even as an adult for the same reason - just one trip.

IHateWasps · 19/10/2020 13:49

Yes, but it can still take a long time for the coals/ashes to completely cool. Especially if they haven't been spread out. Not worth it imo.

BogRollBOGOF · 19/10/2020 13:50

It's not a constant hazard like a pond, only when used (which has to be with intent) and the period after.

At 2, DS used to request "fire food" meaning barbeque.

We always had an exlusion area around it unless DCs were specifically invited close, and they always have been sensible around fire and followed the safey rules given.

Keep a bucket of water handy, for damage limitation in the event of a burn and to quench after.

Mutabilis · 19/10/2020 14:11

We've got one and our 3 year old is really cautious around it-she reminds everyone else of the safety rules. We position it so there are plant pots directly in the way and then the bench a sensible distance from it, she knows she can only sit on the bench and not come any closer. Ours also has a rail around it which remains cool. It's our only barbeque so we've used it fairly often since she was a baby. After the initial excitement that it's lit she tends to ignore it and play in a different area of the garden. She comes in with us if we go in, she's never alone near it. I love it, I think it's good for children to experience and understand the risks of fire in a safe environment. We've been to a few woodland activity groups that have lit a fire at the end for the kids, it's really nice if taught safely, and toasting a marshmallow (with help) and being round a fire in the dusk are such simple but wonderful experiences for kids.

iguanadonna · 19/10/2020 14:18

No, wait a year or two until the small one gains more sense. Then it'll be really fun.

mindutopia · 19/10/2020 14:21

It's absolutely fine as long as you are mindful of what you're doing and never leave him unattended. Our nursery does forest school, which includes fire building, from age 2. Dh runs a business that makes bespoke firepits (this isn't a plug btw, though they are nice) and we have used them regularly around our dc since birth. You just have to pay attention to what you're doing and teach them good fire safety. My 2 year old clearly understands what's safe and what isn't, so a 3.5 year old should, no problem.

IHateWasps · 19/10/2020 14:27

Everyone has such intelligent and mature children. I worked in childcare and it amazed me how dumb three and four year olds can be. I couldn't get them to stop squeezing or spilling their milk, no matter how many times we had the conversation or putting various objects into their noses and other orifices so I'm impressed that people can trust their two year olds around fire pits.

That said a friend who is a paediatric nurse said that most of the common things she hears after an accident is "He's never done that before" or "I thought that she knew not to touch it/go there/do that" so for me it'd be too much stress for a relatively small payoff.

Stealthynamechange · 19/10/2020 21:30

Thanks everyone, appreciate all comments & thoughts. I suspect he would be telling me the rules! Might look for a small one.

OP posts:
Thistles24 · 19/10/2020 21:39

I would try out a Swedish fire log first, or even these tins you get for toasting marshmallows on. You still get the fun factor, but seems a bit safer. We have a chimnea and a 2 year old- I keep a tight hold of him whenever it’s lit!

Stealthynamechange · 19/10/2020 21:48

Thanks I'd never heard of a swedish fire log!

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Codexdivinchi · 19/10/2020 22:01

We have a chimnea. It’s ace and much safer that an open fire pit. We’ve had it since the youngest was three. They never went near it unattended because

A) one of us was always sat by it.
B) they were told how dangerous it was to play near it.

We put a tent near it and put the kids quilts in side and they sit in the door way with hot chocolates. If we don’t put the tent up we take out thick blankets. They are allowed to roast marshmallows with one of us holding the stick with them.

We love it! We save all our cardboard and chuck that in too. We always use kindle to get it going and either one of those slow burn compressed logs or real logs if one of us has bothered to get a sack.

We will be having one on bonfire night. We’re already discussing what camp fire food we will have.

Go for it. It’s our go to when we’ve nothing planned and it’s a dry evening.

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