Playing Outside Safely: Balancing Fun with Consideration for Traffic and Neighbours

Playing outside is one of the best parts of childhood, giving children the chance to enjoy fresh air, get some exercise, and hang out with friends. Play is crucial to a child’s development, making them more social and increasing their confidence and this should be encouraged. To keep things fun and safe, it’s important to consider traffic and neighbours. Here’s a friendly guide to help make outdoor play both safe and neighbour friendly.

Safety First

Choose Safe Play Areas

New analysis of road casualty data by Brake reveals that 10 young children (aged seven or under) are killed or seriously injured on British roads every week. Playing at home is great if you have a fenced garden or a spot away from the road. If that’s not possible, parks, playgrounds, or other designated play areas are ideal since they’re designed with children’ safety in mind. Children often play in the neighbourhood too, so it’s important to remember that this is a shared space, and everyone needs to be careful.

Supervision and Clear Boundaries

It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian that children are playing safely and considerately.

Parents and guardians play a key role in keeping playtime safe. Keep an eye on the children, especially younger ones who are still learning about road safety. Teach them simple traffic rules like looking both ways before crossing the street, understanding traffic signals, and never chasing balls or toys into the road. Set clear boundaries so they know where they can play, ensuring they stay away from streets and driveways.

Be Seen, Be Safe

Bright or reflective clothing helps drivers see children better. Playing outside during daylight hours also improves visibility.

The Neighbourhood

Being Considerate of Neighbours

Noise can be a big issue, especially early in the morning or late in the evening. Not everyone works 9-5, so remind children to keep the noise down during these times. Encourage them to play at a reasonable volume to avoid disturbing neighbours.

Gardens and cars are often important to residents. Make sure that play activities don’t damage neighbouring properties and that children ask for permission before retrieving lost balls in other people’s property.

Sometimes, ball games or drawing on the road can cause tension. Keeping open communication with neighbours helps build a sense of community and makes it easier to address any concerns or complaints. Abusive or anti-Social behaviour is never accepted and to raise a concern with Love Living Homes, please see our ASB page.  

The police and council take a neutral, balanced view on the issue of children playing and expect residents to work together to find a compromise. However, in extreme cases of deliberate nuisance they may use their powers to intervene. If any residents has damage to their property then this should be reported to the police to investigate as it is criminal damage.

Environmental Awareness

Older people, babies and young children are more likely to be unwell from hot weather because their bodies are less able to regulate temperature.  With summer coming, it’s important to stay aware of the weather. Hot days can be tough on older people, babies, and young children. Keep an eye on the forecast, avoid extreme heat, stay hydrated, and use hats and sunscreen for sun protection. Remember to check in on your neighbours!

Playing outside is a big part of growing up, offering lots of physical, mental, and social benefits. By focusing on safety and being considerate of traffic and neighbours, children can enjoy the outdoors while keeping the community friendly and respectful. With good supervision, clear rules, and open communication, outdoor play can be safe and fun for everyone.

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