Readers Respond: More Play Date Advice

The best thing about having a blog is the feedback I get from the readers!

Earlier this week, I wrote about play dates, and about how careful we have to be when we send our children to someone else’s house. I got a lot of e-mail, and so many great ideas that I wanted to share some of them with you.

Please know I read all of my e-mail, and I try to respond, but if you have urgent medical questions, please see your primary care physician! When you write, be sure to include your name and town.

Here are some more play date ideas from you!

"Let's not forget that leaving play dates supervised by a parent other than one's self could expose one's child to one or more of the following:

• A ride in an unsafe automobile or under unsafe circumstances.

• Unhealthy attitudes toward people of other races or genders.

• The presence and availability of alcohol, or the use of alcohol by an adult that is supposed to be supervising.

• Inappropriate media, such as video games, music, television or movies.

• Vulgar behavior by a supervising adult, or by any other person likely to be present in another's home.

• Dangerous toys, such as riding vehicles.

I have no children nor do I ever spend time caring for children. But I have a small amount of common sense, and I have noticed these issues arise in the lives of my friends with children. I also remember some of these situations from my own childhood. Many parents do not think about some of these dangers." — Hugh Elmore

"Better yet, move to the country and let the kids play outside! There is still plenty of land." — Jennifer

"Our eldest is a teenager and our youngest is eight, and since our children were small the rule was, and still is, if we do not personally know the parents and how their household 'works' then you do not visit in their home. It is amazing how many parents we have run into with the same rule, and actually, it is a relief to have that backup. Some parents take it as a personal insult, but once we explain they have been known to do the same thing!" — Anonymous

"While I agree with everything you said, you failed to mention a critical area of our children's safety: electronic input from video games, music videos, TV, and the rest. The input from this form of entertainment can be as harmful as any of the others you mentioned. I make sure any adult that has the responsibility of watching my 11-year-old son knows and agrees to follow our rules for viewing and playing with this form of entertainment, which has become the favored choice of play among my son's friends. We have chosen not to have video games, so he is drawn to them when they are available. It is my responsibility to make sure he is safe from viewing things that he is either not ready to see, or should never see." — Mom of 4, Grandmother of 7 (Glendora, CA)

P.S. Don't forget to watch FOX News Channel. And please feel free to write to me at DRMANNY@FOXNEWS.COM and tell me what you think. Ask a question, share a thought, share a remedy — We'll try to answer all of your mail online or on the air.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit