One of the many things the COVID 19 lockdown has reawoken in us is our love for the great outdoors. For the first time in many years for some of us, we have reached the end of our tether watching endless TV and films and, with restaurants, play centres and cinemas all closed down, our local parks and woods offer us a much-needed change of scene. Yet, beyond this, we have rediscovered a certain innocence, an appreciation for the simpler things in life that has been worn down by our complicated, technology-filled, modern lifestyles. Our kids are experiencing the same thing, finding pleasure in kicking the autumn leaves, chasing one another through meadows and enjoying a bit of wholesome family time.
While it is an amazing experience for them to explore the outside world, and you want to give them as much freedom as possible, there are certain things we need to be aware of. Gone are the days where you could just send kids out into the wild and leave them to their own devices for the day, unless of course you have enough of your own land for them to roam around. But if you want to relax whilst your kids have fun, here are some things to consider.
Beware The Hounds
One potential hazard to watch out for might not seem so scary on an everyday basis: dogs. Whether stray or belonging to an unscrupulous owner, dogs can become quite aggressive if they are not trained properly. And children, especially younger ones, are not exactly known for their light touch! So it is important to be aware when you are engaged in a (socially distanced) chat with a friend whom you have bumped into at the park where your kids are and whose dog they are playing with. If they do indeed end up on the wrong end of a dog bite and it was not their fault, it is likely because its owner was not controlling it properly. In this instance, there are dog bite lawyers you can call that specialize in such cases who can help you receive compensation for any medical bills and ensure those aggressive canines are kept under better control.
There is definitely a strong argument suggesting that children should not be given cell phones until they are in high school and this is one that I favour. With all the social pressures associated with social media and the way it exposes them to adult subject matter, it is certainly a commendable decision to take. However, there are certainly merits to supplying them with a phone to keep in contact when they go off by themselves. This is more an emergency measure than anything, allowing you to track them down if they stray too far. The best way to tread a middle ground between these positions is to give them an old phone, one with only basic functions with no access to the internet.
Know Your Area
This might sound obvious but the best way to give yourselves peace of mind and your children the freedom they crave is simply knowing where the safest places are in your neighbourhood for them to play. If you have recently moved somewhere new, consult local Facebook groups and ask around for any suggestions.
Parents and kids need freedom from each other so keep these things in mind before sending your little ones out to play in the great outdoors!