Kids Should Be Banned at Dog Parks

Jeanne Sager

dog parkDo you ever get the sense that some parents think their kids have the right to go anywhere and everywhere, with no regard for common sense? Think babies in bars. Toddlers at raucous rock concerts. And kids in dog parks.

The last one is really irritating me this week because a city in Virginia is getting a lot of flack for banning kids from the one place in town where folks are allowed to let their dogs run free. Let me repeat that, it's a place for DOGS to run free. Not humans.

Let's just take a look, shall we, at all the stories about children hurt by dogs? At the number of parents who are extremely protective of their kids when it comes to the canine species? At the way moms like me -- who is admittedly pretty trusting of the four-legged -- get the stink-eye for letting her kid romp around the backyard alone with our aging mutt?

The way I see it, this is the perfect answer! A place for dogs to get out their energy, have a little socialization, pee on some tree stumps ... all without one child being at even the tiniest of risks for being mauled, scratched, or chomped. It's a place where even the sweetest dog gets a little rowdy, where things can get unpredictable, what with unfamiliar dogs suddenly in the same place, and frankly, where these poor pups go to escape the bad vibe that overshadows their dealings with helicopter parents. Do we really need to get our kids in on this?

No, we don't. And I'm going to go out on a limb and say this isn't about some kids' insane desire to hang with their pup. They can do that in their own apartments or backyards. Nope, this is about the parents who just can't see a reason why little Jimmy should be denied ANYTHING.

But there are places kids don't belong. Bars. Raves. Your OB/GYN appointment (really, I know it's hard to find a sitter, but just ... so ... wrong). And yup, the dog park.

Would you take your kid to a dog park? Do you see this rule working out?


Image via Intangible Arts/Flickr

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