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How young is too young to be outside with no adult?

FENTON, Mo. – They're calling it another Missouri miracle — a 4-year-old girl abducted from her front yard and found safe 70 miles away more than 24 hours later.

The FBI said witnesses late Tuesday saw what they thought was a little boy wandering around a suburban St. Louis car wash. It turned out to be 4-year-old Alisa Maier, abducted Monday night from the yard of her home in Louisiana, Mo.

Alisa was taken early Wednesday to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis for evaluation. After nearly three hours of examinations, the little girl and her parents left about 7:30 a.m., hospital spokesman Bob Davidson said.


Asked by sweet-a-kins at 1:25 PM on Jul. 7, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

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This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • I think it depends on this children and neighborhood. My kids played outside all the time at 4 & 6.

    In our area you frequently see little kids playing outside in the front yard. It's the kind of town were no one locks their doors.

    Answer by mancosmomma at 2:04 PM on Jul. 7, 2010

  • Four years old? My EX used to tell me that was ok in the city in the back yard, that the dog was watching dd. I flipped, and told him he and i could head to court if he wanted. He didn't, amazingly, because he knows they'd make him pay child support, lol.

    I'd say there isn't an age, it depends on the maturity of the chld in question, the neighborhood, etc.

    Answer by lovinangels at 1:29 PM on Jul. 7, 2010

  • There are too many variables to say. But, I did let my youngest dd play outside at 4 along with her two older sisters, and the neighbor girl. They all had very strict instructions on where they could be, and they were checked on like every 10 min. It was a quiet neighborhood, open back yard (meaning not a lot of trees, shrubs, etc.) Since this was their first yard they could play in, they didn't want the privilege of playing outside taken away, so they were really good about staying in the permitted areas. We had the door & windows open, so while they thought they were "free" actually I could hear them at all times and did frequent visual checks. Oh, and this was quite a long time ago, too.

    Answer by 29again at 1:43 PM on Jul. 7, 2010

  • Depends on the kid, how well you are keeping an eye on them from the house and various other things. My son was outside alone at 4. But, I wouldn't leave the boy I babysat outside until a lot later...not at all.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 1:27 PM on Jul. 7, 2010

  • I don't let my kids play in the front yard because we live near a busy street but my 3.5 year old son plays by himself in the backyard all of the time.
    It's a closed in, fenced yard that he can't get out of(not that he would try, he knows better) and I regularly check on him.

    Answer by Laila-May at 1:29 PM on Jul. 7, 2010

  • No way. Too many crazies out there. I love in the country and still wouldn't let my son outside until at least 8 or older.

    Answer by twny at 1:29 PM on Jul. 7, 2010

  • I don't think there is a specific age when it can be allowed. I think 4 is definitely too young. If you have a fenced in back yard, it might be safe for a 6 or 7 year old to play with frequent checks. It would also depend on the neighborhood. As much danger as there is today for children of all ages, it is probably best to keep a very close eye on them at all times.

    Answer by NannyB. at 1:30 PM on Jul. 7, 2010

  • She had a 6 year old brother with her. Obviously they weren't taught to not get into cars with strangers or the 6 y/o would not have allowed her to get in the can and then go tell mom. My son was taught better. He got lost at a state fair at age 2 and faired better than this kid. He knew to go to the police trailer there and knew his address and name and my name. He even knew to tell them my hair and shirt color.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 1:33 PM on Jul. 7, 2010

  • Depends on the neighborhood and the child

    Answer by NotPanicking at 3:25 PM on Jul. 7, 2010

  • sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 1:25 PM on Jul. 7, 2010