Young children playing outside unattended

@meandmy3 (2228)
United States
July 7, 2009 9:11am CST
I have several neighbors that think nothing of allowing young children, say four and younger, play outside without watching them, keeping your eye on them, watching them. So many things could go wrong, while yes we live in a nice neighborhood, these children can still be taken, harmed by some crazed person out there, they could run in the road and get ran over, they could wonder off in the woods and be lost for hours, there is limitless possibilities as to things that can happen to these children yet the parents allow it to happen. what is the right age to allow children to play alone outside? My kids are five, they can play in the back yard which is fenced in and they do not know how to open the gates. Other wise one of us are out with them
1 person likes this
16 responses
@lala501 (1533)
• United States
7 Jul 09
yeah i agree. children that yound should have someone supervising them at all times. i still have to watch my little brother while he plays outside with he's little friends. i believe i was about nine years old when i stopped having to be watched after.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
7 Jul 09
nine or ten sounds about right to me as well. I get told all the time that I am way to over protective of my children. Maybe I am, but to be honest I would rather be too over protective and them be safe than the alternative
@lala501 (1533)
• United States
13 Jul 09
Exactly. If I have kids in the future I will be as protective as I need to be to keep them safe. If I don't then they'll most likely become spoiled or in danger when they become older, and that's one of the things I am going to make sure doesn't happen.
@ebsharer (5516)
• United States
7 Jul 09
My daughter is 2 and she is not allowed to play outside inless there is an adult with her. At my parents house they have a fenced yard and some times my daughter will play outside if we are in the kitchen because we can see the swingset from the huge window. In my opinion kids under 5 should be attended at all times. 6 to 9 years old I'd let in a fenced yard with out an adult watching 100%. From 10 to 12 I'd say they could play in the yard with out 100% supervision. Above 12 I would let play in the yard and possiable walk to a park (if with in a street).
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
7 Jul 09
I tend to think along the same lines as you do, but it seems that most of my neighborhood does not.
• United States
15 Jul 09
You contradict yourself. You say that you think children under age 5 should be attended at all times and that children ages 6-9 can play in a fenced yard without an adult watching 100% of the time. However, you allow your two year old to play in a fenced yard while you are in the kitchen viewing from a window. That's not being attended to; that's watching from afar. Please understand I'm not offering an opinion either way; I just think we all need to be careful about getting on soap boxes when it comes to parenting. And yes - I do have children (6 and 3). The six year old is allowed to play in the backyard unattended for small lengths of time; my three year old is not. You can agree or disagree but there does come a point when we as parents have to teach responsibility. As a parent, its up to us when to do so based on our child's personality, maturity and level of reasoning. We all know two 6 years olds are not the same on all these fronts. Finally, yes - kidnapping is a concern we as parents have to deal with but its not new and I'd argue that its more prevalant now that when we grew up. We just hear about it more b/c of today's media. Its another thing we have to prepare our kids for and hopefully parents are doing that and not shielding thier children by fear. Because as much as we'd like not to admit, we can't be there 100% of the time regardless of a child's age.
@rainmark (4302)
14 Jul 09
It is really best for the kids if their were adults keeping an eye on them. I never allow my 19 months old son playing in front of the garden even it is fenced in coz im afraid might somebody going to get him or hurt him. Everytime he plays outside im always there to keep an eye on him. Coz thats for his safety and im very protective. Anyway. your triplets were so cute, i really wish to have a twins from the start but im not lucky enough hehehe. cheers.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
14 Jul 09
Having multiples is hard work and everyone wishes that they could have twins or triplets but be thankful that you had one.. Trust me on this. Thank you for your words, you are a great mom
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
8 Jul 09
To be honest meandmy, this very reason was the top one for me wanting to leave England. Several of the neighbours allowed their children to play out on the street from morning to night, and when I say night I mean up till midnight. These children had no social skills at all and it was obvious the parents just wanted some peace and told them to go and play in the street. They could be seen eating things like crisps instead of breakfast. Without any kind of parental guidance these children soon grew into the type who had no respect for adults and had no form of discipline when they started school. There was constant noise outside the house from them. I did not want my own son to grow up in an environment like that and no matter where you live in england there will always be pockets of council houses where these types of people live so their behaviour has an effect on everyone around them. I am certain the parents had no idea where the children were so if they had disappeared they surely wouldn't have noticed.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
8 Jul 09
Oh wow, that is a bad situation, at least you were able to get your son away from that area.
• Malaysia
8 Jul 09
I think children of that age should be given a lot of attention and keep an eye on them most of the time. They are young and gullible and don't really know anything about bad and good. Sometimes they might take something from the ground and start to put them in their mouth and that is dirty, though we know that it is the nature for children to go through exploratory play in their early years to get to know their surroundings and things around them. Furthermore there are many dangerous people out there now and we never know if they are near. And hence it is quite necessary for us to keep an eye on our children always!
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
8 Jul 09
Again, I could not agree with you more. My children like to play outside and explore their surroundings, however they are not allowed to do so unless I am with them
@edelweiza (157)
• Philippines
8 Jul 09
young children playing outside unattended is dangerous and a big no no for parents. you know you don't want something bad to happen to your kids so never leave them alone or do something without adult supervision.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
8 Jul 09
I agree, children are precious and if something were to happen to them it would be heartbreaking to these parents and the rest of their family.
@busky5 (3165)
• Thailand
8 Jul 09
I think 5 yrs, is very young.For me i never braved to give my kid play alone,Although in my house has a fence door.I am very crazy about this situation.I think 10 yrs , he can play on the side yard.However i don't often want him to play out my house.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
8 Jul 09
My children are only allowed to play outside in the backyard without me there, they can not get out as it is fenced. I am either on the back deck or in the kitchen which has several large windows that allows me to see out.
@chelsit (105)
• United States
8 Jul 09
Honestly I don't think there is a right age to allow your kids to play outside, it's based on your neighbourhood safety, time of day and aso can you see them from the living room window or the kitchen window, because no mtter how old your kids are there i unscrupulous perons out there that can come right in your neighbourhood and harm kids. The main thing is to kep an eye on your kids no matter what age they are.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
8 Jul 09
we do live in a safe area, but they are still building houses and there are construction crews in and out of our neighborhood all day long, as well as delivery people etc. You never know who is working on a house. I agree children should be watched regardlesss
@KUSHANK55 (2437)
• India
8 Jul 09
no age is just right. you can not just allow them to get away from the watchful eye of an elderly person. there is no harm in letting them play but have a strict vigil on the things around, the cleanliness , th ehygenic factors and all the risks involved let alone they start fighting , kicking or hit each other or get hurt while running around or some animal is around or whatever!! we have to be on the toes all the time!!
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
8 Jul 09
Very true, as parents we can not let our guards down we have to watch our children and make certain they are safe.
@lelin1123 (15635)
• Puerto Rico
8 Jul 09
It's not like many years ago when you could go out and not come back till dinner time. Children are being kidnapped and killed left and right as far as I'm concerned. The parents that you are referring to tells me that they don't care or just not smart enought to understand the dangers besides getting hit by a car. It bewilders me how some people become parents when they really shouldn't. Yet there are people who can't have kids who would be responsible loving parents. My granddaughter is 3 and she really is not allowed to be alone anywhere front or back yard.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
8 Jul 09
It is really a shame that our world has come to this but it has and as parents we have to do what is necessary to protect our children, if that means I sit outside all day long and watch them play then that is what I do.
@meapas (2433)
• India
7 Jul 09
Children should be taken care of properly. They should be given enough freedom to play by themselves with their peer group but under a watchful eye. Never ever a child should be left unattended till he attains an age to understand what is what. Carelessness invites accidents and so with children you should be extra careful.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
7 Jul 09
I agree, it is nice to see that I am not alone in this and that well I am not as over protective as many say that I am.
@jaiho2009 (38988)
• Philippines
7 Jul 09
my kids were grown ups now,but my youngest aged 10,i still dropped him to school everyday and fetch him too.yes,anything can happen in a wink of an eye,why should we let something happen before we realized our mistakes when we can prevent some things to happen when we only knew how to practise precautions and cared for our kids as long as we can.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
7 Jul 09
my thoughts exactly, anything can happen, why risk it when the lives of your children are concerned
@lulu1220 (1009)
• United States
7 Jul 09
I see this all the time too and I am amazed that the parents are not there watching them. In fact I know about someone that lost his daughter because a car hit her in the road. I don't know if him and his wife were not watching, but if this can happen when they are watching I can only imagine it could happen if they are not. I remember going outside by myself when I was about ten years old. My mom wanted me and my brother back at a certain time. We were also not allowed to go outside after dark. Yet today I see this all the time.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
7 Jul 09
That is my point exactly, anything can happen and when children are this young you can not be too careful.
• United States
7 Jul 09
We have children of all ages running around unchecked in my neighbourhood. I've seen children who are probably no more than four or five years old running about without any adult supervision. We have a community pool that is open and unattended by a lifeguard during the summer which I have seen some of these kids break into after hours to mess around. No adults watching them whatsoever. We've had a lot of issues with kids around here getting into trouble. I think kids who are eleven or twelve don't need to be supervised as much, but their parents should still have a general idea of what the kids are up to. Since we don't have fenced-in yards or any sort of day care facility on the property, kids tend to get in with the wrong crowd or get injured and don't get immediate care.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
7 Jul 09
We have a community pool as well and children can not play unattended at it unless they are 16 years of age. We have some strict guidelines as far as that is concerned.
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
7 Jul 09
I think it depends on the child. At four, my daughter was very smart and aware of dangers. I still was very careful with her, but she was allowed to play out in the backyard by herself. I made sure she knew what to do if she saw a stranger and she knew she was not allowed out of the yard. We live in a very small safe town though so I guess that is why I wasn't too worried. Now her sister wasn't as well behaved so I didn't let her out alone. Now the two of them are 7 and 4 so I let them out together and check on them often. It also helps that our neighbors who are in their 70's sit out when the weather is nice and they keep track of them too.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
7 Jul 09
Even small safe neighborhoods can have freaks in them. that is my concern for these children, it is scary and dangerous world we live in today. That is great that your neighbors keep track of them as well. I watch out for the kids in the neighborhood also. It scares me to think something could happen to one of my kids little friends.
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
7 Jul 09
when my kids where that young, i used to sit outside with them and read a book. even then, i still had one ear open for them. i dont think the world is safe enough to let such young kids be outside. not only that, at that age, they can get into danger like running onto the street after a ball. in your case, with a fenced in lot, i think it is ok as long as you check on them periodicly. heck my kids are 16 and 12 and i STILL check on them once in awhile during the summer when they are hanging around outside.
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
7 Jul 09
I am with you on this, anything can happen these days and just because we live in an affluent neighborhood does not mean that children can not be taken, or get harmed in some way. It really gets me how these parents have such an attitude about their children and their safety