safe to play outdoors?

Beth - posted on 04/05/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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What age would you think is old enough for a child to play outside without me RIGHT there? For example, when would it be safe to let her play out in our fenced back yard while I sit by the window to fold laundry or wash dishes at the sink (with a window looking into the yard)?

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Lucy - posted on 04/06/2010

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My son and daughter have been playing out in our very secure fenced back garden without me since last summer when they were about 20 months and just turned 3.

Luckily our house is laid out in such a way that I can always hear and see what they are up to, as we have big french doors that open out from living/dining room which I leave open in nice weather. Also, the kitchen is at the back of the house, so from there I can have the window open and keep an eye on them. The fences are high and our garden gate has a yale lock just like the front door, so I know the kids can't go out and nobody else can get in!

I think it is so important that kids get to be out in the fresh air and have time to play away from mummy. We want them to develop into confident independent older children and adults, not scared little people who need constant entertainment by others and are frightened of their own shadows.

So my advice is, let your little one get some independent time outside to do her thing! Just do what you can to make it safe without stifling her eg, a lockable gate, back door propped open, if it's a large yard arrange it in a way that prevents her from going out of sight etc,

Have a fun summer!

Lydia - posted on 04/06/2010

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Actually - if I think about it my daughter already plays outside without an adult out there when she is at my parents/sisters house. She has been doing it since she could walk - my sister doesnt have an issue with it and she works in law enforcement and gets to see the worst of human nature so I figure it cant be too much of a risk. We do still keep an eye on her but I dont always want to move in and out of the house with the frequency she does.

Johnny - posted on 04/05/2010

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I think your little one will be fine playing in the backyard as long as you are right there watching and are able to get out the door right away. I plan to let my daughter (20 months) out in our backyard this summer. It is very easily accessible for me, I don't even have to go down any stairs or anything. Personally believe that we are warping our children by constantly watching over them and not allowing them any personal space to explore or grow. Kids used to be able to run all over the neighborhoods unsupervised, and today, we wouldn't even let our kids go next door to visit without escorting them. And stranger abduction is shockingly rare (your kid has a bigger chance of being hit by lightening out there) and no more prevalent than it was in years past when kids were allowed to roam free. I am not suggesting that you should not be vigilant and watch your child, but it sounds like you plan to do this already.

Ashley - posted on 04/05/2010

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omg....i'd never let my almost 2 yr old out in the backyrd without me or another adult.

Absolutely anything can happen in a minute. I wouldnt even watch from the window. If i'm not out there with him he is not allowed outside....my sister doesnt even let my 7 yr old nephew play by himself in the fenced backyrd. I agree 100% with your friend. Kids need adults out there...there`s too my creeps out these days. Too many kids have been abudcted from their own backyards...and not just that...at those young ages they get ideas in their heads and who knows what they`ll do. My son will be a lot older before i even think bout letting him play in the backyard alone

Beth - posted on 04/05/2010

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ok, i feel better with you saying you'll let your 16 month old out. My daughter is 20 months old and I've been doing that for about a month (or 2?). We had some people over and their 4 year old son asked to play outside, and his mom told him he couldn't go out alone, even though we were sitting right by the window. I got worried that I was being irresponsible!!!

Lydia - posted on 04/05/2010

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I agree that it is a individual decision base on your set-up your child and your feelings about it. My daughter is only 15 months but I will be letting her outin the yard for short periods without me as soon as I have one in a month - however I will also be keeping an eye on her.

Rose - posted on 04/05/2010

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I think the a good age would be when they follow the rules while your out there with them and not telling them what is and isn't acceptable.You really can't put an age on it personally i think it is when they are mentally able to.

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