Porteño culture is very family- and community-oriented. Fellow Subte passengers will keep an eye out for women with children and make sure that the kids can have a seat, parents will often be allowed to move to the front of lines in the mercados, and there is always someone willing to lend a hand with a stroller down a flight of stairs.
That being said, few parents in the city allow their children to walk to school alone or go to a store a few blocks away without a chaperon, even those families who live in the nicer, more residential neighborhoods. Perceptions of insecurity in Buenos Aires are reinforced by the city’s large transient population, and with the economy impossible to predict, the temptation to do anything to survive is great. You will rarely see a child by themselves — they will almost surely be with a group of friends, an older sibling, or parents. Accompanied by their parent, both to and from school, the child is never alone. (You may encounter a child on the Subte who appears to be alone, but most likely they are “working” — selling cheap merchandise or even performing to earn a little extra money for their destitute families — a sad but ever-present reality at this time in Argentina’s history.)
Parents, take your cues from the locals and be protective of your young ones. The great thing about porteños is their instant willingness to lend a hand and bring you into the fold of their families. So get to know your neighbors, other parents in the school your child attends, and teachers — they will all feel a personal responsibility for the safety of your child, and they expect the same of you.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of activities to keep children of all ages entertained. There are parks, museums, and even amusement parks in the province (such as Parque de la Costa, in Tigre). The Buenos Aires Zoo even has petting zoo sections with goats, chickens, and miniature horses. For one peso you can buy a bag of food to feed to any of the animals, including the bears!