How Young Do You Let A Baby Play Outside Alone?

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  1. profile image0
    TMinutposted 14 years ago

    I'm amazed at what I keep seeing! There are diaper babies running around unattended everywhere, they show up in my yard. I live in a townhouse complex so it's not literally "my" yard. But still, does anyone here let their two year olds wander unsupervised all over outside? I've seen several, some suddenly show up in my house! They open the door and come in to play - I've taken them back outside to try to return a child to a frantic parent but guess what? There never IS a parent! These babies have had to cross a parking lot to get here too.

    Sometimes I see a baby who actually is supervised - by a five or six year old sibling! Do people really consider this normal, fine, and okay? It's NOT.

    1. Jane@CM profile image61
      Jane@CMposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      911 would be my first call, social services my second call.

      1. dutchman1951 profile image61
        dutchman1951posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I agree,
        unbelievable how some will do

      2. Stimp profile image61
        Stimpposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I would agree on this one.  I wouldn't take the child outside again, I guess I'd keep it at my house call 911 and have THEM deal with it.

      3. AEvans profile image73
        AEvansposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I agree! smile

    2. Krystal Blue profile image59
      Krystal Blueposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I agree it is NOT okay. I'd be making a call to 911.

    3. profile image0
      shazwellynposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I was left to wander at 4, but what you are saying is shocking and illegal. x

    4. susansisk profile image80
      susansiskposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Where I live, hardly any children are out playing alone.  There have been too many kidnappings, accidents, etc.  It is so sad that kids can't even walk home from school anymore.
      i wrote a hubpage on "Keeping Children Safe" after hearing of another child kidnapped and murdered on the way home from school.

    5. MikeNV profile image69
      MikeNVposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Baby... I'm gonna go out on a limb and say NEVER... kids maybe, but a baby?

    6. profile image0
      PrakashTposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      My child is very naughty and she is 1.2 years old. I guess, I will never leave her alone to play until she is six years.

  2. Flightkeeper profile image67
    Flightkeeperposted 14 years ago

    It's a good thing they come to your house and not a creep's.

    1. geminimoon profile image60
      geminimoonposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      It's nice to know some one is watching out for the littles ones.

  3. profile image50
    BadCoposted 14 years ago

    I agree with Jane, this is becoming a common thing I saw a couple going out for their shopping and leaving a 9 year old to babysit his 5 year old sister, are these people for real ?

    1. profile image0
      rednckwmnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      when I was 8 I babysat my infant siser, and my 6 year old sistesr.

  4. dohn121 profile image80
    dohn121posted 14 years ago

    And people wonder why there are so many missing children in this world sad Some people aren't fit to be parents.

  5. waynet profile image68
    waynetposted 14 years ago

    There's a lot of crazy parents out there who let their kids wander around and then they cry when something happens to them, that old saying "kids should be seen and not heard" comes to mind!

  6. Patty Grass profile image61
    Patty Grassposted 14 years ago

    I live in the middle of nowhere, 1800 ft off of an extremely minor road, giant windows looking out on the giant field, and I cannot let my 3yo out with her 6 and 9yo siblings unless I am outside with them.  It makes my mommy brain too nervous.  There is no cure for stupid.

  7. profile image50
    BadCoposted 14 years ago

    You know the worst thing, you see a little kid wandering about and you just walk by because to do different these days cud land you in trouble. In the UK a few years ago a kid called Jamie Bulger was abducted from a shopping mall by 2 ten year old boys and beaten to death.

    When the Police investigated the case at least 6 people saw a distressed kid crying but didn't get involved for obvious reasons. I worry about the world we live in at times, I really do.

  8. frogdropping profile image77
    frogdroppingposted 14 years ago

    I daren't even get started on what I think to parents that allow small children to wander like stray dogs. Bceause that's what it amounts to.

    And let's not call them parents. The fact that their kids are wandering the streets is not a sign of good parenting. And no excuses either. I was sick of hearing them in my previous job. There are none.

  9. areyouserious profile image58
    areyouseriousposted 14 years ago

    In this day and age the best time to let them go out and play by themselves is when they go to college

  10. Misha profile image63
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    While given the described circumstances I personally would not do it, don't see any reason for social services call, let alone 911. Do you really think those kids will be better off in a foster home?

    1. Carmen Borthwick profile image60
      Carmen Borthwickposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      It is hard to say if they would be better off in foster care because we're not privy to the condition of the child; is he dirty, does he appear undernourished? Some foster parents are kind and loving, I was one of them. I ached when I had to return the child to parents who were unfit. I wasn't able to go through it again, selfishly yes.

      Calling 911 I agree would not be a good idea, but you could call the police if you legitimately don't know where the child belongs. It could be a much needed wake-up call. And calling social services could be another wake-up call, its not like the movies where they're going to rush in and whisk the child away. They investigate and try to offer help, they don't want to have to remove the child if unnecessary, they have too many kids to deal with as it is. Ignoring it, however, isn't the right or compassionate thing to do.

      Personally, I would try to get the kid to take me to mommy/daddy and proceed to give whichever one a calm, hopefully, talking to. If they get uppity and say its none of your business simply explain that it is because if something bad was to happen to that child you would feel responsible if you didn't do something.

      Just my opinion.

  11. BeccaHubbardWoods profile image87
    BeccaHubbardWoodsposted 14 years ago

    I still wont even let my five year old out to play by himself. I insist to be outside with him, no matter how much he begs and pleads. And we live in the country! My two year old - FORGET IT!!! He's not even allowed to go off the porch without me being at the very most two feet behind him at all times. I can't believe some parents. They just let their children run free like there isn't anything bad that could happen to them.

  12. profile image0
    cosetteposted 14 years ago



    makes you wonder what those parents are doing that is more important than looking after their little ones!

    1. profile image0
      rednckwmnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      sweetie, I think you might have a guess? Some parents just dont pay attention. sad

  13. Ivorwen profile image65
    Ivorwenposted 14 years ago

    As long as the child is not a rock-eater (I had one of those) I've let them out in the fenced in back yard without me at 18-20 months.  I leave the door open so they come in when they want and check on them every few minutes.  The dog lets me know if anyone is with in 100 yards of the house, especially when any of the children are out doors -- adult present or not.

    As to visiting the neighbors... they are not allowed to do that until they are much older, and then only ones that we know quite well.

  14. janddplus4 profile image61
    janddplus4posted 14 years ago

    As a mother of FOUR toddlers, I must point out how quickly little ones can escape out of the house and make it down the street.  I am a model mother, but even I have to use the bathroom on occasion.  And my children have taken that occasion to get out of my locked front door, and all the way across the yard to the street.  I come out of the bathroom and have to run after them.  Usually they head in one direction, towards our neighborhood Dairy Queen.  But once, my two year old headed around the other corner.  I frantically searched all up and down the street in her usual direction (remember, she's never made it out of the yard before), for several minutes before giving up and calling 911, certain she had been abducted.  I'm crying on my doorstep waiting for the police when a neighbor from the side street showed up with her, yelling and cursing at me for being a neglectful mother.  I felt horrible, but not guilty.  BMs are a part of life, and reality is that shit happens.  I can't corral four kids into the bathroom with me EVERY time--they usually follow on their own, I guess they like the show.  Anyway, since then, I have installed a lock on the top of my doors.  Now visitors criticize that I am putting my children at risk in case of a fire because they can't reach those locks!  I accept the fact that I can never please everyone.  My children's safety comes first.  And I could care less about the opinions of my neighbors.  But personal experience has taught me to not be so quick to judge.  If the same baby is frequenting your home, more than likely it is due to neglect.  But don't jump to conclusions.  There may be a mother close by doing her very best, who would greatly benefit from some of your wise advice, requested or not.

    1. Ivorwen profile image65
      Ivorwenposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      So true!  Glad your little one was found.

    2. profile image0
      rednckwmnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      OH MY GOSH!!!!! And I thought 3 under the age of 5 was are my newest hero!!!fanatsic attitude, and yay for a hapy ending. I could write a book about the times my youngest slipped off and I thought the worst. It is such an awful feeling.And peopel aer so judgemntal. In the store if your child cries, half the people think..cant that woman control her children? but if you say or do ANYTHING you risk the other half screaming ABUSE and calling the state!!! go look up the babies on a leash sums it up pretty good...

      1. profile image0
        bloodnlatexposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I totally agree.  I have twin boys that are four, and they can be a bit of a handful if they want to.

        1. profile image0
          rednckwmnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          I had a state trooper at my front door a few weeks back, cuz my kids threw A tomatoe in the road...
          and they are girls...I cant imagine twin boys....

          1. profile image0
            bloodnlatexposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            A state trooper for a tomatoe in the road?  I'd be in real trouble over there, and that's not even bringing the kids into it

            1. profile image0
              rednckwmnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              kids got in trouble, by me, for being near the road..period..its a state road and a busy one at was hard not letting them see how STUPID I felt the trooper was...he was quite the jerk and telling me I need to control my children. It was A CHERRY TOMATOE!!!!! And it never even made it past the shoulder....he happend to be driving by, when he saw it fly out of the trees, and stopped. He actaully yelled at my kids to pick it up...wich they did, and they got hell from me for that too..they are NOT to do anything a stranger tells them, I dont care WHO its...Man should have knoced on my door first. Who the hell did he think he was? Ordering my kids to pick something up, off the side of the road. A freaking CHERRY TOMATO??? come on...btw, I have been in trouble...

              1. profile image0
                bloodnlatexposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                I hear ya , and don't doubt that you've been in trouble either..

  15. Specialk3749 profile image60
    Specialk3749posted 14 years ago

    Oh my!  Talk about having a pet peeve!  This sure is one of mine. I don't know what I would do in your situation.  Call the police? Take the child in till someone realizes it is missing?  (You might get in trouble for that one!)  I agree with you!  Parents just don't seem to care anymore.

  16. Misha profile image63
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    He is an idiot and control freak. I agree. Feel better now? wink

    1. profile image0
      rednckwmnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      of course. But I am glad it happened, cuz they were being sneaky, and going close to the road wich tehy RAE NOT suppposed to do. They lost outside alone privliges for a while...and I am thankfull it was just a control freak jerk, and not some sicko who saw them.
      Ive got to run here, in a second...have a great day!!
      ps, I havent been in trouble in a long long time...Ive been good for at least...10 years now...

  17. profile image0
    sneakorocksolidposted 14 years ago

    I think about 12yrs old, all things being correct. It certainly depends on the child. I ,for example, really didn't have very strong nuturing skills so I wasn't really considered the one in charge my sister whose a year younger was tasked with watching our little sister.

    We didn't allow our son out on his own except in the backyard and only if we were home. If we ran to the store for milk, he wasn't even allowed to answer the door and we had emergency procedures in place, allways! All his activities away from home were supervised by us or adults we trusted until 16 when we allowed him  to drive to practice then home again.

  18. Misha profile image63
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    Yeah, such things could be a good lesson for kids, showing them that there are real limits to what they can do, and parents don't just pull those limits out of their ass - no matter how pretty this ass may look. smile

    1. profile image0
      rednckwmnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      thats the point pretty much
      it was a pretty rough day actually
      they cried alot, I felt bad, but...I had nightmares for days after that they got kidnapped...

  19. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    I live within the viewing area of Boston news; and when two- or three-year olds get out around here it often makes the news ("...found wandering in the street.  The child remains with his mother while DSS investigates.")

    When my kids were two and three we lived right near a pond, so there was absolutely no way we could allow the door locks to be such that a young child could work them.

    On the other hand, when my son was seven and had his first real sleepwalking incident; he managed to get himself down the stairs, out the door, and down by our mailbox (at the street) at 1:00 a.m. before waking up and knocking on the front door in his pajamas.  hmm   My husband and I were awake, sitting in the kitchen (at the back of the house), with a window fan on because it was Summer.  I couldn't imagine who was knocking on the door; and when we discovered it was our son, I didn't know if he'd fallen out the window or what!  The window was fine, so we can only assume he walked down the stairs and out the door.

    I was horrified to think that could happen.  Then again, though, there's a difference between a one-time incident and letting your two-year-old be out playing on a regular basis (or even letting that sleepwalking kind of thing happen again).

  20. Helen Cater profile image61
    Helen Caterposted 14 years ago

    Not till there 16!!!!

  21. profile image0
    TMinutposted 14 years ago

    janddplus4, you're the kind of mother i was looking for with these babies, the frantic mom whose baby escaped. I've got four boys, a stepson, and I raised my two nieces for a while; I've got friends with several little ones, I know what littles do.

    My problem is when nobody ever comes looking, and when I return a baby home, the parent says, "Oh, yes, he always does that," especially when they shut the door and leave the baby outside! This has happened, literally!

    Still, I don't want to call social services because I don't know that they'd be better off in foster care. I've known a few foster parents and I wouldn't wish them on a baby. But I've also known one that should be allowed to adopt every neglected baby in the world.

    1. Deborah-Lynn profile image60
      Deborah-Lynnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Please, just do the right thing and call social services, they won't get there to see the unsupervised littles ones so call 911 first for legal witnesses.

  22. Write at Home profile image60
    Write at Homeposted 14 years ago

    I can't imagine letting my two year old wander off to play on his own! Might as well let him play in traffic...

    1. Deborah-Lynn profile image60
      Deborah-Lynnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Being killed by a car would be a blessing compared to what kidnappers do to their victims.....

  23. Uninvited Writer profile image80
    Uninvited Writerposted 14 years ago

    I'm complained about that before. In my building this summer there were kids younger than two playing outside until 9pm with only their 8 or 9 year old older sisters to look after them. The parent's never seem to be around.

  24. SweetiePie profile image83
    SweetiePieposted 14 years ago

    I have seen parents busy doing homework and reading with a calmer child, and just letting the more free spirited one run around.  One time a parent actually got frustrated with me because I motioned their child back to be near their parent.  It was almost as if they wanted to ignored the more adventurous one, so they could read with the quiet one.

  25. SweetiePie profile image83
    SweetiePieposted 14 years ago

    I have seen parents busy doing homework and reading with a calmer child, and just letting the more free spirited one run around.  One time a parent actually got frustrated with me because I motioned their child back to be near their parent.  It was almost as if they wanted to ignore the more adventurous one, so they could read with the quiet one.

  26. RedSonja94 profile image60
    RedSonja94posted 14 years ago

    My now six year old snuck out in the middle of the night when he was just 3.  He went to the local bar....crossing two streets to get there at 1 a.m.  When the police brought him home he said he was going to get his haircut....the barber is two doors down from the bar.  Thank God that the girl working the bar was a sweetheart and tried to get him to show her where he lived but he wouldn't go home for her.  He showed the police right where he lived though.  I was freaking out.  This is a child that was never allowed outside alone in his life and he snuck out while I was sleeping in the middle of the night.  Needless to say locks went on the top of all my doors the next day.  It's not always a neglectful parent that has a child running loose.  I personally still don't let my 4 or 6 year old outside alone unless they are in the fence and with my dog who barks at everyone who goes by the house.  As far as going to another person's way either.  I don't like how my neighbors raise their kids...not happening.  Thier kids come to my house and follow my rules or go home. 

    If I found a child running loose I would try to find the parents.  If I couldn't find the parents I would call the police.  It is always better than having them get hit by a car or abducted in my opinion.

  27. Chloe Comfort profile image60
    Chloe Comfortposted 14 years ago

    The answer - you NEVER let a baby play outside alone without some kind of supervision. Even with supervison kids tend to wander off the minute you turn your back. Happened when my son was about three - almost gave me a heart attack!

    Even now, he's 12 and my daughter is now 9, I am always at the window checking on them when they're outside playing. The world is alot different now that it was when I was their age. Parents didn't worry to much 30 years ago when their kids were outside -they didn't need to. Now - parents have to worry. Sad but true.

  28. nigelking profile image60
    nigelkingposted 14 years ago

    The answer is simple - YOU DON'T - not even for a second!

  29. torimari profile image67
    torimariposted 14 years ago

    2 days old~

    1. Stimp profile image61
      Stimpposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      this was going to be my first answer but.....


  30. Miss Belgravia profile image60
    Miss Belgraviaposted 14 years ago

    16 years old! After being totally neglected as a child, I became a super-vigilant mom. Particularly because two weeks before my daughter was born, the newborn daughter of one of our close friends was kidnapped from the hospital by a woman posing as a nurse. The child was found nine months later, alive and well, but it had a huge effect on me. I was terrified of my daughter being abducted or injured. I fought against it all during her childhood, knowing that she needed a measure of freedom, but I always knew where she was and who she was with.

    When she was 16, I bought her first car (on the condition that she get a job), and gave her all the freedom she wanted. Because she knew how much her dad and I loved her, and that she could always count on our support, she handled her freedom well. One of her friends tried to make fun of her one time, asking why we always wanted to know where she was. She said, "Because they love me," and I knew I had done the right thing. Now she's 26 years old, strong, independent, and is graduating from college in two weeks, with 10 years of work experience. Our job is to protect our children until they're old enough to protect themselves. To do otherwise is selfish, lazy, and stupid.

  31. H.C Porter profile image79
    H.C Porterposted 14 years ago

    In this world at this time-I would say that a child can go out unsupervised when they are 17 years old-maybe 16...But that is probably somewhat unrealistic.
    Probably a more realistic answer would be-I would never leave a child home alone, or outside to play freely until they are at least 12.
    Not just because of the sick people out there that take children from their homes, but because there are other dangers that are not always expected. Kids run-and fall, and get hurt. How will you know if you are not there? You can read about dogs attacking children, I would rather be there inbetween that dog and my child and suffer a dog bite(s), than walk out my front door to discover my child lying on the lawn from a dog attack.
    People are stupid and careless, for the most part-if you want to be careless with your safety and your my guest, but when you dont think about your childs dont deserve to be a parent. There is too many stupid preventable accidents-that parents should of been there to stop.

  32. pylos26 profile image70
    pylos26posted 14 years ago

    H.C.Porter...You are my hero.

    1. H.C Porter profile image79
      H.C Porterposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      oh--well thank you  big_smile  Honored...

  33. H.C Porter profile image79
    H.C Porterposted 14 years ago

    What I want to know, is what is so damn important to parents that they cant be with their children outside and play with them for at least 30 minutes a day?
    I did a survey-and wrote a hub about how much parent dont know about their kids...
    Letting them play outside alone and you may never get a chance sad...people just dont know what gifts they have and are missing out on, until something horrible happens

    1. terrowhite profile image57
      terrowhiteposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Exactly smile it happens many times that parents just leave their kids to play outside and forget about the consequences. Something bad might happen to them.. It is not all fine with me if you ask me to leave my kid alone in the yard or in the play ground.. I will never do so..

      1. H.C Porter profile image79
        H.C Porterposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        at least there are a few of us left that wont do so... Kids may be more advanced than they use to be, but they are still kids-people tend to forget that

    2. Ben Zoltak profile image80
      Ben Zoltakposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      This is good advice, glad I bumped into this post. I have to force myself to at least go for a walk with my daughter, it's cold around hear so not a lot of hanging around outside for either of us lately.

    3. pylos26 profile image70
      pylos26posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I think some of those parents simply take their children for granite, get them out of the house maybe and watch their tv shows.

      Your kids will be among the luckiest having such loving and caring parents.

  34. habee profile image92
    habeeposted 14 years ago

    I think they can play outside alone safely once they graduate from high school.

  35. Dame Scribe profile image57
    Dame Scribeposted 14 years ago

    As a single parent I had one child consistently unlock and run out the door when she was small. Didn't matter the lock was up at the top. It's not easy for single parents who have more than one child. I say, go easy on her/him. Offering to help rather than making assumptions of neglectful parents, would be quite the act of kindness too. Not all parents are deliberately neglectful while others, shouldn't have kids, I agree. hmm

  36. moanalisa profile image61
    moanalisaposted 14 years ago

    The real issue is the safety of the children. If it's a common occurance and you live in a town house community, bring it up with the board. By all means, if you cannot locate the parents of these toddlers, yes, by all means, call the local Child Services Department.

  37. Beth100 profile image70
    Beth100posted 14 years ago

    A "baby" should never be left alone, never mind playing outside alone.  Children should always have adult supervision, even if it is at arms length.  The age?  Depends on the maturity of the child but definitely not under the age of 10.

  38. jessicab profile image61
    jessicabposted 14 years ago

    I lived in a apartment complex and 2 year olds would roam the sidewalk, but I would never do such a thing.  Some parents do not care and do not want to be bother with their children so they send them outside to play.


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