Child safety while playing outdoors

Family in the park
Outdoors play is important for children’s development – and great fun. So how can we ensure they stay safe?

Children love to play outdoors but you want to ensure that they stay safe. Never fear – there’s plenty you can do to protect them while they enjoy some ‘free-range’ fun. Try these tips:

  • Agree a set of rules that your child is happy with and understands, such as only playing outside for a certain amount of time and staying where you can see them
  • If your child is out with other children, make sure they have a buddy system where they stick with a partner or group and have an adult they know nearby
  • Always agree on a meeting point if you are out and about with your child, that way if they get lost it can be the first place to look. You also need to make sure your child knows what to do if they get lost, for example finding a policeman or going into a shop
  • For older children, make sure they know your home address and telephone number, you could even give them a mobile phone to use when they are out
  • Again for older children, encourage them to become 'street-smart'. Take your child on the route to their local park from your home so they become familiar with the area. If anything were to happen in an emergency, your child would know their route home
  • You could even try setting up a neighbourhood watch scheme where members of the community all keep an eye out for children
  • Make sure your child knows not to speak to people they don’t know, and if they feel uncomfortable about any behaviour to report it to an adult they know or a policeman