Reflecting on the past, we realize that attitudes and behaviors considered appropriate when boomers were kids, would be deemed completely unacceptable by today’s standards. Here are 18 Things Boomers Got Away with When They Were Kids that Would Never Be Acceptable Today.
Lack of Car Seats for Children
Decades ago, it was not uncommon to see children bouncing around in the back seat of a car, unrestrained by a seatbelt, let alone a child safety seat. Nowadays, the use of child safety seats is mandated by law and considered crucial for children’s safety on the road.
Riding in The Back of A Pickup Truck
Boom-era kids often enjoyed the thrill of riding in the open bed of a pickup truck. Today, such a practice is considered extremely dangerous and is illegal in many areas due to the risks involved.
Baby boomers often speak fondly of their “free-range” childhoods, which included going out to play without parental supervision for hours on end. In today’s more protective culture, this level of independence for children is less accepted.
Unsafe Playground Equipment
Many boomers will remember playing on cold, hard concrete under metal jungle gyms and super-tall slides. Today, safety standards for playground equipment have greatly improved to prevent injuries, with safe surfaces and materials used in playground construction.
Playing with Dangerous Toys
Toy safety regulations were far less strict, and baby boomers often played with toys that were made with toxic materials or posed choking hazards. Modern laws now regulate toy safety to protect children from harm.
Riding Bicycles without Helmets
While riding bicycles was, and still is, a classic part of childhood, wearing helmets was not the norm for baby boomers. Today, in light of safety concerns, helmet use is encouraged, and even required by law in many places.
Use of Lawn Darts
A game that was popular among boomers was lawn darts, a dangerous outdoor game involving sharp, heavy projectiles. Given the risk of injury, this game has been banned in the U.S. and Canada.
For the boomer generation, hitchhiking was a common way to get around. This activity is largely discouraged and even illegal in many places today due to the potential dangers associated with getting into a stranger’s car.
Many baby boomers might recall handling fireworks as kids during celebrations. Firework safety regulations have become much stricter, and in many places, children are not permitted to handle them due to the inherent risks.
Use of Asbestos in Craft Kits
Asbestos was widely used in a variety of applications, including craft kits for children. As knowledge of its health risks has become more widespread, its use has been phased out, especially in products for children.
Absence of Food Allergy Awareness
Back then, there was a lack of awareness around food allergies, and it wasn’t uncommon to find allergenic foods like peanuts in school lunches. Today, due to increased awareness and incidence of food allergies, such practices are considered risky.
Suntanning without Sunscreen
Baby boomers often spent hours sunbathing without any sunscreen. With the current understanding of the risk of skin cancer, it’s now advised to always wear sunscreen when exposed to the sun for extended periods.
Corporal punishment was considered an acceptable form of discipline. Nowadays, it is largely viewed as a violation of a child’s rights and dignity, and it’s considered inappropriate and even illegal in some jurisdictions.
Unsupervised Access to Construction Sites
Children of the boomer generation often played in or around construction sites. Today, these areas are typically fenced off and strictly off-limits to children due to the dangerous conditions.
Unrestricted Media Consumption
Boomer children often had unrestricted access to media, including adult-oriented TV shows and movies. Today, parental controls on media content are commonplace to shield children from potentially harmful content.
Lack of Nutritional Consideration in School Meals
School lunches in the boomer era often lacked nutritional balance, including high levels of fat and sugar. Today, there is much more emphasis on providing students with healthier meals, including fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, to foster good eating habits and combat childhood obesity.
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