If you're a parent or guardian, you understand the importance of keeping the child safe and the alertness you must maintain when out and about with the little ones.

Taking the kids out can be dangerous...

...if you're not careful. Some of us have multiple kids, and keeping track of them can be a challenge when you're out. It can be draining and in some cases, you think to yourself:

"I need a break and want them to tire themselves out."

One of the most inexpensive ways to get a "break" and tire the kiddos out? Taking them to the park.

It sounds good, right? It gives you a chance to sit down, take a load off, and le the kids play themselves to exhaustion. Amidst that brief moment of relaxation, you get as the kids run to the swing set, you might catch up on missed notifications on your phone, make a phone call, etc.

Now, unfortunately, a recent trend that has been happening around the Treasure Valley has that relaxation turning into absolute paranoia.

Parents just "know"

If you're a parent, chances are you've experienced a "sixth sense" of sorts that alerts you when something is wrong or when your child is in danger. We've recently encountered several conversations recently with moms noticing what appear to be single adult males hanging out in children's parks.

We're not talking about a jogger or a runner either... not someone who is just taking a load off from a hike on the Greenbelt.

We've spoken to Treasure Valley mothers through various parental groups (some of us homeschool our children and interact with these parents) who report seeing more and more single adult males "lingering" near the playgrounds.

Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash
Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash

In one conversation we had with a mom who chose to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, she was at a popular Boise park when another mom noticed a man complimenting how handsome the anonymous woman's 4-year-old son was as he was on the swing set.

She saw her son but from that distance, couldn't hear the conversation so she darted towards her son with the man quickly wandering off.

They could be watching

In another alarming instance, we had another coworker share with us this past week that he received a text from his wife saying she had to grab their kids and leave Redwood Park.

She was hanging out with one of her multiple children when she noticed a man hanging out near the playground with no kids in sight, eyeballing her other children playing.

Sensing something was up, she took them all home and texted our coworker.

Should an adult hanging out in a children's park without any children of their own be outlawed?

We could see why this might rub people who just want to enjoy the park the wrong way... but if you're a parent, you can't help but wonder, right? You never know what someone's motives are but one thing is for sure: there is an alarming number of incidents like we talked about happening and more parents are taking notice.

Should the law do something about this?

Let us know your thoughts here.

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