Let kids play outside alone? It should be a crime, poll says

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  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Aug. 25, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    Yea, Sequoya! Somebody spotted our little boy on his tricycle, wearing a helmet (rare in those days), riding it from the driveway to the street. We were at the end of a cul-de-sac.

    Had that "somebody" bothered to actually look, or actually speak to the neighbor, he/she would have found that the Mom was watching from the kitchen window. Had "somebody" taken the time to ask the kid -- he would have found out the boy was copying the helmet-wearing commute-biker Dad -- that he was not in traffic -- that his head was not injured -- that he was not unsupervised.

    CPS responded (much too late to save a kid with a busted head from traffic) by pulling the older siblings out of class in school for interogation and trying to bluff/ bulldoze their way into the home to get the boy.

    The "investigation" found nothing. But boy did they create a buncha aggravation, stress and fear during their process.
    Thanks a lot, nosy busybody who won't talk to your neighbor.!

  • Scott1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 8:16 p.m.

    Awesome comment Sequoya! I could not have said it any better!

  • Sequoya Stafford, VA
    Aug. 23, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    Unfortunately, in spite of the statistics, there is a greater risk today than ever before. That risk is the meddlesome, busy-body, nosiness of all those who want to micromanage everyone else.

    This is true whether you believe in a government program for every human problem, or you just want to play "gotcha" with your neighbor because he/she didn't do something to the perfection you have imagined they should. No doubt, somewhere along the way here, someone will propose more government day-care establishments so that kids never leave "responsible" adult sight (Orwell's 1984 redux!!).

    SOOooooo -- we must constantly watch our kids, not because they may get kidnapped, killed, or skin their knees, but because some nosy, anonymous twit will have us playing 20-questions with the cops, child services, etc. We have to be paranoid to protect ourselves from the neighbors!!!

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Aug. 22, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    In the 1950's when we were six years old, my twin brother and I were allowed to go play at a public park four blocks from home. We were warned to run away if a stranger offered us candy or invited us into their car. Sure enough, that happened one day, and we promptly ran into a nearby crowd of other kids. We told our mother about it when we got home.

    By the time we were 10 years old, we could go as far from home as we liked, frequently 5 miles or more. I once witnessed a boy who got hurt bike riding along a cement bayou, and I walked to a gas station and called the boy's parents. The kids of that era took care of each other.

    We are paranoid in this day and age, in spite of the studies that show a greater safety now than in those days. I regret that my grandchildren never got the chance to play alone in the woods as children. That personal experience with nature was a treasured memory.

  • cocosweet Sandy, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    @Patriot. I don't believe you read the article. Crime is at a low (as low as the 60's). As the article stated, we are inundated with stories of crime because these stories sell to the public. I'd rather deal with real facts (check the FBI website if you like) and not be terrorized. I won't take foolish risks but living everyday life in fear.. Not I, nor my children.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    "Do children under 12 need supervision if they're playing in public places" ?

    I guess if you want to see your kids again then the answer is an obvious YES! This is not the 1950 and 60's where kids walked to school and the playground and friends houses etc.. with no mom and dad watching. You didn't have to watch much back then because America was a much more innocent and safe place. Today you have child trafficing and kidnapping and sexual prediators living just down the steet. You can't go a week - even in Utah - without hearing about some sort of crazy thing happening. I never ever heard of any of this stuff back in the 1960's growing up in Pleasant Grove - the world was just safer all around and people had values. Today we live in a much darker environment and you MUST watch your kids everywhere.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    Leaving a kid at a park all day while you work is not good parenting. It is less a worry of kidnapping; although that is a risk. What if the kid gets hurt?
    Yes, it used to be kids played outside. But they played with friends, and you had lots of people in the neighborhood keeping an eye on each other’s kids.
    Really I think the solution is to go outside with your kid. Turn off the TV, get out of bed, and go outside with them.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    Yeah, that's a great idea. Let's do that. Let's make sure they stay safely inside, doing enriching things like watching TV and playing video games. Let's make sure they're not outside getting exercise and being creative...we wouldn't want that.

  • cocosweet Sandy, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:53 a.m.

    What a sad state of affairs. I loved playing outside with friends, it's one of the important activities of childhood, friends and exercise. Crime rates are at a low in this country (and have been since 2000's). Seems people think crime is at a high (possible because of all the media reports?) when in fact it is safer than ever to go outside and enjoy life. There is nothing wrong for a nine year old to be riding their bike around the neighborhood or going to the playground. Stop the hysteria please.

  • Chris from Rose Park Hartford, CT
    Aug. 22, 2014 6:36 a.m.

    Give it a break people. It's ok to let kids play outside unsupervised much earlier than 12 years old. I'm thankful my Mom gave me safety guidelines, taught me how to make decisions, and then let me play around the neighborhood on my own. I get defensive about things like this because it makes me think people are getting upset about and disparaging how my Mom raised me and my siblings. According to the world's standards we turned out just fine.

    With that said, every situation is different. An inner city setting is definitely different than a suburb. A clean safe non crime neighborhood is different than a drug and gang infested one.