Children play outside much less

Children are "disappearing from our streets", charities have warned after a poll found that unwelcoming communities are preventing children from playing outdoors.

MPs need to provide children with 'safe play areas'

MPs need to work harder to ensure youngsters can play outdoors safely, a children’s charity has said.

Cath Prisk, director of Play England called on MPs to focus their efforts on creating a safe playing environment as a means of improving the health of the UK’s children.

Children playing
MPs need to do more to provide children with a safe environment in which to play, say Play England Credit: PA

"It's up to all of us to turn around the creeping disappearance of children from our streets, parks and communities," she said.

"We all have role - as families, neighbours, and friends. We can all do something to say we love kids playing outdoors, that we want to live in communities that actively welcome kids playing out.

“There always was and always will be some people who want to squash kid's fun - but there are far more that really want kids back outside playing, not stuck indoors, especially over the summer holidays.

"If every councillor and MP committed to ensuring every child in their communities could play outside in their street...think of the difference that would make to every child's health, to the number of friends they can make and most of all to the fun they can have."

Unfriendly communities stop children playing outdoors

Unfriendly communities and “intolerant neighbours” prevent children from playing outdoors, a survey has found.

children
Will scenes like this become a thing of the past? Credit: PA

More than a quarter of the adults said disapproving neighbours forced them to keep their children indoors, in a poll conducted on behalf of organisations Play England, Play Wales, Play Scotland and PlayBoard Northern Ireland.

Parents also registered traffic concerns, dangers posed by strangers and a lack of community space as reasons to prevent their children from playing outside.

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