Where Is It Common to Leave Kids Outside While Eating at a Restaurant?


Quick Answer

It is common practice for Danish parents to leave young children outdoors as they eat, drink or shop; this is done so the child can be exposed to 'frisk luft,' or fresh air. In cities in Denmark, including Copenhagen, the capital city, it is not uncommon to see strollers sitting on the curb outside the windows of coffee shops, bars, restaurants, stores and other public establishments. The aim of this practice is to allow the kids to get fresh air, which is thought to be healthy and to contribute to the child's development.

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Where Is It Common to Leave Kids Outside While Eating at a Restaurant?
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Full Answer

Though this practice is commonplace in Denmark, Americans may not want to recreate the practice on this side of the Atlantic. In 1997, a couple in New York left their child outside a restaurant. The parents were arrested and had to appear in court to have their child returned to their custody. Though parents in Denmark keep the outdoor stroller in their view as they enjoy their food and drinks indoors, the nation's largest city, Copenhagen, has a much lower crime rate than large American cities such as New York. Attitudes toward potentially risky practices like leaving a child unattended may be seen differently in each country as a result.

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