Safety fears stop kids playing outside

A new survey conducted by Play England has suggested that traffic and a fear of strangers is stopping children from playing outdoors.

Safety fears stop kids playing outside

by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 1st August 2012

The research has been released as an estimated half a million families celebrate Playday 2012 where around 500 community events take place across the UK.  The campaign raises awareness about children’s right to play and the importance of play for children’s health, wellbeing and happiness.


The research was carried out in July 2012 on the behalf of Play England amongst 1,000 parents with children under 15 years old in the UK.  It was found that almost half (49%) of parents report that fear of strangers stops their children from playing out, while 46% say traffic and almost a third (31%) highlight fear of accident and injury as barriers to outdoor play.


The Playday 2012 theme is ‘Get out and play!’, and is co-ordinated by Play England, Play Wales, Play Scotland and PlayBoard Northern Ireland.  Of the survey findings, Cath Prisk, Director of Play England, said:

‘Simply playing outside should be a normal, everyday event for all children. If we want to foster the next generation of Olympians and sports stars, then we need children with confidence, who love being active and are confident in tackling challenges. If parents are too afraid to let their children play out – because of fear of strangers, traffic or their children having accidents – then we as a society need to address this fear. Whether that’s a community living in a cul-de-sac agreeing children will be playing out every day, a street applying to the council to close the road for play regularly, or residents volunteering to help local play projects reach more children, we can all do our bit to make sure every day is a Playday’.

Source:  Play England, Fear of strangers and traffic stop children playing outdoors, August 1st 2012

Photography: Charlie F @Flickr

+Louise-Anne Geddes

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