All of us have an older person in our lives that likes to start sentences with the phrase, “Back in my day…” Most of the time, they’re referring to some idealized memory of the way the world used to be when they were young. However, if this post is any indication, “back in my day” refers to a world that was a lot more dangerous than it is now — especially for little kids.
Below are 20 solid reasons why kids (and now grown-ups) from the sixties and seventies probably shouldn’t be alive today, from dangerous toys to faulty cars to peculiar dietary choices, these are all reasons why baby boomers and some Gen X-ers are lucky to be not only alive, but also here with all of their limbs intact. Check them out below, especially if you’re of that generation. #13 is truly disturbing to think about.
1. Dangerous Toys
Back in the day, toys were a lot more dangerous than they are now — and had a lot more risks associated with playing with them. We’re talking hot plates, noxious odors and sharp metal objects — how did anyone make it out alive?
2. No Seatbelts
People didn’t really buckle up back in the day, and children often rode in the front seat or on each other’s laps. We’re glad that things have gotten slightly safer on the roads.
3. Front Seat Driving
As we mentioned above, the lack of seat belts meant you could sit wherever you wanted — and that meant that often, babies would sit with their parents in the front seat.
4. No Helmets
Kids popped wheelies and raced each other without helmets, making this hazardous oversight similar to the seatbelt thing. We’d love to see some stats on head injuries from back then.
5. Chemical Trucks
Back in the ’60s and ’70s, kids would often run behind these chemical/pesticide trucks when they passed by. Lungs be damned, apparently.
6. Unsafe Playgrounds
Anyone remember swinging so hard that one part of the swing set would come off the ground? Or what about the burns we suffered sliding down scorching metal slides during the summer, not to mention the spiky, rusting metal all over the place.
7. Kids Going Solo
If you let yourself into the house after school, you were a latch key kid. By today’s standards, this seems pretty dangerous — then again, most who did it seemed to turn out okay.
8. 12-Year-Old Babysitters
If you were at least 12 and able to dial 9-1-1, then you got some pretty sweet babysitting gigs. Considering the fact that today’s babysitters often have certification, the idea of a 12-year-old doing the job seems pretty wild.
9. Ridiculous Diets
Believe it or not, there was a time when processed food was considered the best, and very few people were “eating clean.”
10. Secondhand Smoke
There was no escaping the haze of cigarette smoke back in the day, because you could smoke literally everywhere: Planes, cars, restaurants, and even libraries.
11. Explosive Cars
The Ford Pinto was popular in the 70s, and they got even more famous when people learned that they often exploded. They were discontinued in 1980, but only after many had risked their lives by driving one.
12. Summer In General
The three months between the school year were the most dangerous times growing up. We would leave the house for hours at a time, run around without shoes, and come home with more scrapes and bruises than we could count. It was nice to not be monitored all the time, but one has to wonder if it was safe.
13. House Paints
Many household objects, including baby cribs, were covered with bright colored lead-base paints — the exact paints that were proven to be hazardous later on.
14. No Childproof Lids
It was once easy for kids to get into bottles, including pills, detergents, and household cleaners. Back then, it was much easier for kids to get inside and ingest them.
15. Uncomfortable Clothes
These weren’t exactly dangerous, but they deserve a mention because clothing back then was totally uncomfortable — enough to kind of feel dangerous.
16. Drinking Water
There wasn’t such a frenzy to drink bottled water back then, so who knows what we slurped down along with our H2O.
17. Weird Food Choices
Who didn’t have a backyard tea party, complete with mud pies and other weird backyard “food” choices? It’s a wonder we didn’t get sick more often.
18. “Kid” Guns
BB Guns were pretty popular back in the when, but it’s hard to imagine most parents giving their kids this present today.
19. Solo Car Sits
Finally, it used to be pretty common to leave your child alone in the car while you ran into the grocery store. Most parents wouldn’t do this today — do you think the world is more dangerous, or have people just gotten more careful?