I saw this article this week about the worries parents have about letting their children play outside http://www.standard.co.uk/incoming/fears-of-traffic-strangers-and-accidents-creating-generation-of-couch-kids-7996996.html
After doing a poll with 1000 parents it seems that parents are afraid of letting them out of their sight. Here are some of the statistics that they found:
Almost half of parents (48.8%) say concerns about strangers stop their youngsters playing outside while a similar proportion cite traffic as a barrier.
Nearly a third (30.7%) of parents say their son or daughter does not play outside the house due to fears that they will have an accident or be injured.
There were also concerns about intimidation from others and crime while around one in six (17.1%) say that their child does not play out because they simply want to be indoors.
I can understand the first stat. There is so much traffic on the roads and it seems to me that there has been a rise of traffic accidents over the years. There no longer seems to be any playing in the street unless you live in a cul-de-sac. Regarding the stat on being injured. Children can become injured anywhere. Being in the park or in the street is no different to being in the house. Accidents can happen anywhere. Children learn when they have accidents to be more careful or not to do x again. Falling over, getting knocks is all part of being a child. I am often amazed that I never broke a limb in childhood!
I wonder about the last stat. Do the children prefer to stay indoors and play because they are scared of going outside, is it because they would rather be amusing themselves with electronic equipment, they don’t like exercise or they are just homebodies. There could be so many reasons why this figure is fairly high.
I think we should be promoting children going outside, getting fresh air and taking care of themselves to some degree (age relevant of course). If they aren’t surely they are missing out on new experiences, gaining confidence and taking responsibility. We can give them the tools to do just that by talking about stranger danger, being streetwise and knowing what is safe and what is not.
Are your children streetwise? What do you think of the report?