At what age is appropriate for your child to play outside in the neighborhood alone?

Ashley - posted on 11/03/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I remember being like 6 years old playing outside by myself. Yet, Chloe has just turned 7 and I can't even imagine her being outside alone. I am always there with her; and if not me, another adult. When do you let them off the chain?

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Anmarie - posted on 11/04/2009

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Personally I would Never let my children play in the neighbor hood alone. All you have to do is watch everyday on the news and there is always somebody getting Killed, Robbed,Mugged, Run over, Beaten up. I have a lovely big back yard which my children and their friends play in that is fenced and safe. It is of the blink of the eye and they are gone its just like the question "When can I let my kids swim in the pool alone" NEVER!!!

Anna - posted on 11/04/2009

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Depends where you live somewhat. I'd worry about traffic the most. You're not supposed to let them ride their bikes alone before age 10 because they don't have the mental skills to stay focused and look out for dangers - so maybe the same for playing in the street. Also depends on the maturity of the child. You could organise a group of kids to do things together, like walking to school together, so at least your daughter has some independence but is still safe in a group. As a kid I was allowed to walk to friends' houses alone but I had to call home before I left to walk home so my mother could come looking for me straight away if I wasn't home in 5 mins.

Vanessa - posted on 11/03/2009

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For most normal people I know, they let their kids run around outside and play. I refuse to because I know my daughters too well. I can hear the wheels turning in their heads as they figure out their first move to destruction. Even if my daughters were 10, I still wouldn't let them play outside without supervising. Maybe when they grow out of this destructive stage--which from the looks of my husband, they may not... lol

Ariel - posted on 11/03/2009

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This is a tricky question and one that I think is neighnorhood dependent. Unfortunately times have changed. When we were kids playing outside alone didn't come with the threats that it does now days. There are strangers, cars speeding, pedifiles, amber alerts and so much more. It is a much sadder day and age for Chloe. I think it really matters what type of neighborhood you live in and how well you know your neighbors. If you live way out in the boondocks then playing out in your neighborhood really isn't a question. Based on that I am going to conject that you live in a suburban type neighborhood. If its a culdasac I think that there is a little more implied safety there and if there is at least one window that you can glance out of occassionaly to see the street than you are in great shape. If it is just a street in a suburban neighborhood I think it is important to know your neighbors VERY well. Have CONCERTE check in times that are NON-NEGOTIABLE and a STRICT buddy system with a friend you trust. Of course its always nice if there is an adult to or someone that can be outside but sadly for all of us parents at some point we have to let go and let God. They have to venture out on their own occassionally. :) I hope this helps!

Mary - posted on 11/03/2009

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I think it also depends on the area you live in. If you live in a house with a back yard and you can watch her at all times through the kitchen window or something, I don't think It would be a problem. I however, wouldn't want my child riding her bike around on the road by herself at that age, or running around a neighborhood that I didn't know or trust. I'd probably just go with your instinct. If it feels right, allow it. If it doesn't, don't. Times have changed since we were children, and I don't think you can ever be too safe.

Stephanie - posted on 11/03/2009

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My son and i live so close to busy road that i will not allow him to play outside by himself yet. He is six. Maybe when he is like 8 or 9 but not now.

Ashley - posted on 11/03/2009

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My oldest is turning 7 next week and I allow him to play in the neighborhood as long as he is with his friends and as long as I know which friends and if they decide to go to one of their houses he has to either come and tell me or call. But I think choosing an age for your child to be out alone also depends on the kind of neighborhood you live in. I live in a great neighborhood where there are always little kids running around even younger than mine and all the parents kinda look out for eachothers kids so I dont worrie too much about my little guy.

Carly - posted on 11/03/2009

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in Canada the law is something crazy like 5. But I think it depends on the trust you have in your child. Do they know their road safety, stranger awarness what to do if someone gets hurt. If you are happy with the answer to questions do a trial run play outside alone but check in every 5- 10 minutes. Give her a watch or if you feel better a phone and test it.

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