I wouldn't recommend taking a child under 10 on the upper unless they are a very good swimmer. Even with a life vest some of the rapids are very rough. The company doesn't make you wear shoes but if you go without you could be seriously hurt. I had on water shoes and a rock cut through my shoe and cut my toe pretty badly. I would also ask before you pay, the conditions of the river if you have never tubed like this before. Had we known before we went that it was fast due to rain, we would have waited. The company should give you this information prior to making you pay, but they don't seem to care about much more than getting your money. The 3 adults in my group all left with cuts and bruises. We lost glasses, and shoes. If you decide to go and can't make it to the end, the people at the camp grounds office will call for the van to come get you. The only bright spot of the day was the food at the restaurant. The pulled chicken with sweet and spicy sauce is amazing!