Keeping your kids safe outdoors
As much as you try, you won’t be able to stop worrying about your kids. You don’t want it to hold them back but you just can’t help it. One of the major worries that parents have is about letting their children play outside. It is becoming increasingly important because kids these days are spending more and more time inside in front of screens, so you do want them to go outside. The problem is, there are so many dangers out there that you’ll be constantly worrying about their safety. Keeping them inside all of the time isn’t practical, and they’ll miss out on valuable social time with their friends, so how do you keep them safe?
Mobile phones and children is a tricky subject. With smartphones, children have full access to the internet and you can’t see exactly what they are looking at. There are so many different online dangers that you want to protect them from so you might be reluctant to get them a mobile phone when they are still fairly young. On the other hand, having a mobile phone could help them out in a dangerous situation. They can easily contact you, or in a worst case scenario, the police. Without this capability, they are completely on their own if something goes wrong when they are playing outside. It is best to give them a phone, you won’t stop them getting on the internet either way, but you should speak to them about the dangers of the things that they might see and experience while using it.
One of the biggest sources of contention between parents and children is the time that they are allowed to stay out until. As a kid, I would always beg my mum to let me stay out for an extra half an hour because my friends were allowed to. She always said no, I was too young and it didn’t matter what other people could and couldn’t do. I realise now that she was right, but at the time I wasn’t happy. The truth is, once it’s dark, any potential dangers to your children are massively multiplied. Letting them play outside after dark is risky. If you are going to, it should only be somewhere that you can see them. The best solution is to set up the garden so they can enjoy it at night. Click here for some ideas on garden lighting, that way they can have their friends round in the back garden where you and all of the other parents can be happy in the knowledge that they are safe.
How Far Can They Go?
Another issue that causes clashes is where they are allowed to go. When I was young I was allowed as far as the local shop, and no further, until I was a bit older. I knew where I was going and I couldn’t get lost. To be honest, this really depends on where you live. I grew up in a small town where everybody knew each other, so it was fine for me to go a bit further as there would always be somebody familiar. However, if you live in a large city with lots of strangers everywhere, it is best to limit your kids to an area that you can see from the house.