Gardaí to alert Tusla as children as young as three found playing out unsupervised
Gardaí have warned parents they will alert Tusla if young children are found playing alone on the street.
The warning from gardaí in Co Donegal came following reports that children as young as three were being left unsupervised on housing estates in some towns.
A Garda spokesperson said that while the weather is good and children like to play outside during school holidays, they must be kept safe.
Gardaí said that to leave a young child unattended for even one minute may lead to an abduction or traffic accident.
A spokesperson said: "Gardaí have received worrying reports lately in relation to very young children being left outside unattended in their housing estates to play.
"We take reports such as these extremely seriously and any similar matters reported to us or that we come across whilst on patrol will be investigated in conjunction with Tusla.
"Gardaí have an obligation to report all matters of suspected child neglect or suspected abuse to Tusla.
"We understand that the weather is good and children are on their holidays, of course they want to play outside but they need to be supervised in some manner."
They said if the child is of an adequate age whereby they can play close to the home with others without an adult at their side, but still within viewing distance, then that is a decision for the parents.
But they added: "The risk of a child being abducted or struck by traffic within the estate is too high to let a young child outside unsupervised for even a minute. Common sense should be the guide in cases such as these."