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5 year old unsupervised(60 Posts)
More of a WWYD? but posting for traffic.
5 year old boy from 4 doors up keeps getting out of his house/garden, running down to us to shouting at the gate to my 5 year old to come and play. It's happening at different times of the day including after 9pm. Sometimes dressed, sometimes only in pants, shoeless, sometimes carrying his tea.
They have played together in the past and I know he has some ASD-type tendencies including impulsively running across the road.
My husband usually walks him safely home when he turns up alone and the parents always smile and thank us but don't seem to see it as a problem.
I'm terrified that he'll be abducted or hit by a car. This evening I'm on my own and could only shout at him to go home because I can't leave my three unattended to see him home.
What should I do? Talk to parents again, police, NSPCC, SS?
Is your street very busy in terms of traffic?
We're on a corner and the immediate road outside is fairly quiet, but the one to the left heads out into open countryside and is used as a bit of a boy racer track.
I’d make a referral to social care.
I would ring social services, his parents might really be needing some support with him.
And it's not fair on you, I have a 5 year old and if another one kept running to my house I'd be past myself with worry about him
I’d talk to them. ‘I’ve brought Jonny home to you. I hope you don’t mind but I’m really concerned about him coming down to us on his own, someone I knew had a child badly injured when out alone. Going forward I will let you know if Jack is available to play and you can bring Jonny down. They are so vulnerable and unpredictable at this age. Hope that’s ok.’
That’s not judgemental, it says that you are worried because of a prior experience (fictional) that has made you cautious.
I’d only flag it to an agency if that was completely ignored.
Get their ph no & call them to come & collect everytime he arrives to your door. It is not right that you are worrying about him getting home safely when you are tied to your own house. Maybe have a word along the lines suggested above about worrying abt him near the roadway & hopefully they will take it on board ....altho seems ibvious by normal parenting standards...
a 5 year old shouldnt be outside alone. how do they know where he is??
What if he decides to go for a walk somewhere else alone or gets lost?
completely irresponsible. i would be calling SS as the parents obviously think its ok.
Getting the parent's contact number is a good idea, for the times when I can't take him back. I fear they won't bother to come down though, they'll just say send him back. I wonder if they're actually allowing him to go out, even after 9pm to avoid a tantrum/meltdown? The mind boggles.
I would just try ringing them first. Give them the benefit of doubt, If they do say just to send him back, without coming to fetch him then your next step will be SS or maybe even contacting his school.
Does he go to the same school as your Ds? Or do you know which school he goes to? They might have incidents that they know of that form a bigger picture
A 5yo out of his home alone after 9pm is unacceptable by most people's standards. If he has any level of additional needs he is even more vulnerable. I would definitely report.
Yes age 5 out alone after 9 the parents are either struggling to cope or don’t care/don’t realise it’s dangerous. I would report this too.
I agree about getting their number and calling them each time
The potential asd aspect is irrelevant here because no 5 year old should be out on their own and although certain sn may make a child more likely to be escape artists it shouldn't be happening all the time. No reasonable parent lets their 5 year old out to avoid a meltdown. If you think the parents are not caring for him well enough then ring SS.
After 9pm is not good. But..the children on my street play out. It used to be quite usual and encouraged.
Now, it's not seen in some areas but is in others.
There are 3yos who play out and call on their friends on my street.
It's not illegal (yet!).
If it is a regular occurrence but they appear not to have put anything in place to safeguard him. This is unacceptable and may border on neglect by failing to keep him physically safe. He is vulnerable and ones neighbours are more likely pose a risk to him rather than any stranger. If you did not take him back now long would be remain missing?
They need a wake up call before the child is injured or worse. I would report because they may just need more motivation or advice. Report NSPCC and SS to get action would be my advice.
I can't believe people are saying you should call SS! It's a quiet street and only 4 doors down. If my friend had a son 4 doors down I'd trust him to walk there and back alone (as long as I knew that's what he was doing). After 9pm is a bit odd but in some cultures pretty normal to keep kids up this late.
I had an escape artist, it's really hard (she's asd) we had to put extra locks out of reach and hide the window lock keys! They may need support so get their number, if they dont fetch him immediately and incidents reduce (occasionally him escaping is different) speak to his school or social services
"There are 3yos who play out and call on their friends on my street."
The parents of those children are being neglectful. Children of that age don't have road safety awareness or understand stranger danger.
Do they seem negligent in other ways? Are they maybe just a bit dim that they don't see the danger in this? Either way it's negligent. Do they make any mention when you bring him back that they were aware he was missing? Or excuse it? Or is it literally just a smiling "thanks"?
"There are 3yos who play out and call on their friends on my street."
That is highly irresponsible. I give my 4 year old lots of independence but there is no way I’d have let her play out alone at 3- that is just neglectful.
I would be more concerned that they don’t seem to be at all bothered.
The more I've thought about this, the more concerned I feel.
5 years old, out after 9pm, sometimes out on the public road in just his underwear, potentially ASD... His parents bland, unconcerned smile when he is returned.
I think the parents had the benefit of the doubt the first time or two this happened, but this is beyond that now.
I'd refer it without a thought. Maybe start with the NSPCC who can direct you appropriately? They are very good.
I think they often don't even realise he's out. I'm less concerned with the daytime jaunts, it's the late evening ones, especially when he's barefoot and not dressed. Just feels very wrong.
Feels wrong because it is wrong. Report them. If something happens to that child (which it inevitably will if it carries on) you'd feel horrendous for not intervening. Perhaps ring nspcc for guidance?
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