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08th Mar 2020

Apparently, there is a common age kids should be allowed cross the street on their own, experts say

Trine Jensen-Burke

At what age should children be allowed cross the street alone

Give them too much freedom, and people will accuse you of child neglect. Be too protective, and you’re a helicopter parent.

Raising kids is a tough game to get just right.

Why? Because in parenting, there is so much information, but so little consensus.

However, while it is one thing to use your own judgement when it comes to things like bedtimes and what to serve for dinner, other official guidelines are considered so important for the health and wellbeing of kids that we tend to not question them too much.

Such as putting babies to sleep on their front. And use a backward facing carseat until the child turns at least two.

And there are others too – much as we might find some of them rather debatable.

For instance, in the US, the American Academy of Pedriatrics advice that children should be at least 10 before they walk to school or even cross the street on their own.

Yup – 10, mamas.

In a Wall Street Journal article called “The Overprotected American Child” author Andrea Petersen claims that crossing the street without an adult’s help is a major milestone marker, yet explains:

“Research has found that young children walking to school often don’t look for traffic or stop at the curb before stepping into the street,” writes Petersen. She cites the AAP’s policy statement that parents “are likely to overestimate their children’s ability to safely cross the street.”

At the end of the day, though, as parents, we know our children better than anyone, and while the 10 year-old age limit sounds correct to some, others feel no doubt feel that their seven or eight-year-old has adequate pedestrian skills and is perfectly capable of crossing a street on his or her own.

What do YOU think, parents? How old were your children when you let them cross the street alone? Or walk to school by themselves?