When my daughter was young, I always kept a close eye on her when she was outside, almost always by being outside with her or having a trusted friend or neighbor watching her. When I was young, we lived on what I call a cul-de-sac. I know it wasn’t a true cul-de-sac, but it was a one block long street. If you went a few blocks north or south, the street picked up again. On the north was a strip mall, and on the south was a rail-yard. To the west, was a forest. To the east, the streets on the north and south side of our short block extended for a good ways. If you didn’t know our one-block street existed, you could easily miss it. We almost never got strangers visiting our block unless they were friends or relatives of someone who lived on the block. Our parents knew where we were at all times. We would leave a note saying gone to play at neighbor X and when we would be back. Our block watched out for each other, something there is rarely true 30+ years later.
There are exceptions, like the south side of the block I live on. We watch out for each other. The north side of the block pretty much ignores the south side. We tried to start a neighborhood watch a while back. The north side would not get involved and the effort died.
By the time my daughter was the same age as I was back on that one short block, the world had gotten much worse. Which is why I didn’t let her play outside alone. Now, I wouldn’t let her play outside without me or a family member or trusted friend being out there. It only takes a second for a child to be snatched up. About the only way I would let a child play outside alone would involve a 6′ tall fence with a locked gate. It’s not being paranoid as I saw the recent article where a 6 year old disappeared from her own yard and was found dead several days later. Most of the articles I saw made it sound like she disappeared coming home from the bus stop, but that’s misleading. She was seen in her yard playing within an hour or so before she disappeared.
There’s a YouTube channel I watch where the hosts check with parents before doing a video. The parents are certain the hosts won’t be able to convince their child to get in a car with a stranger. It’s a shocker at how easily the hosts are able to convince the children to get in the vehicle of a complete stranger.