Playing out

Posted on August 14 2009 by Anne Longfield

A_LongfieldAs we hit the half way mark of the summer school holidays, few parents will need to be reminded of the daily dilema they have in ensuring that their children are able to play out with friends and enjoy themselves but also stay safe.

 That’s why many wont  be surprised to read the statistics out this week from the pedestrian charity which tell us that almost half of five to ten-year-olds in the country never playing outside their homes.  Whilst this may now be the norm for many it is a real change from 50 years ago.

 Busy roads and fear of strangers are cited as the main reasons and there is little doubt that  these are the worries that prey on parents minds.  As concerning though is the notion put forward that even when young people do play outside they are assumed to be guilty of “anti-social behaviour”.   This is somethng that we will be looking at in more detail as we focus on intergenerational relationships over coming months.

 The Family Commission is looking for ways that communities are tackling some of these issues – from the way housing, parks and streets are planned to great play areas for children. If you know of good examples you think we should look at let us know.


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