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Kids afraid to go out!



Children choose to stay indoors watching TV and playing computer games because they are terrified of the world outside, fresh research reveals.In a high-profile launch this week, Education Secretary Charles Clarke will announce the findings which disclose that young children carry a daily expectation of being kidnapped by a stranger, sexually abused by a paedophile or becoming a victim of terrorism.’We are not just failing to give children the opportunities to explore the real world,’ said Di McNeish, director of policy and research at Barnardo’s, which carried out the study with the Green Alliance, ‘but are actively dissuading them by making them over-anxious about their external environment.The survey of more than 1,000 children aged 10 and 11 reveals that the choice to remain indoors is being made because of an increasingly unrealistic assessment by children and their parents of the risks of the outside world.’Parents and families are more worried by these issues – out of all proportion to the reality of the risks they are exposed to,’ said Eileen Hayes, the NSPCC parenting adviser, who interviewed more than 200 parents for the forthcoming Parent and Child 2004 conference.’I have been hearing the same story again and again,’ she said. ‘It is terribly sad: we want to protect our youngsters, but the side-effect has been that the children are becoming too scared to step outside their front door….