When i was a kid my mother used to tell my brother and i to get out at 8 am and be back for supper at 5, no fear of "danger" What the article misses also is the point that the divorce rate is so high and that more kids are being raised by a single mother and that they tend to be more fearful i believe... Also the advent of 24 hr. cable news constantly bringing the doom and gloom and rare missing children stories into the households also adds to parents hysteria So sad what's being done to today's kids Kids aren’t spending enough time just going outside There is much research showing that we spend too little time in the natural world and it has had grave effects on our mental and physical health. Study after study suggests that spending time outside reduces stress for children and adults. Even having a view of nature from a hospital room has been shown to reduce recovery time. Other studies have found that spending time in nature increases one’s attention span. And in an era when millions of children are being prescribed drugs for ADHD, it is worth noting that there might be ways to help them with fewer side effects. Like turning off the television and telling them to go play outside. The boomer generation is probably the last one that got to spend any significant amount of time outdoors by themselves. The population shift away from rural areas has had some effect, but it’s much more than that. According to a survey by professors at Manhattanville College of 800 mothers, almost three-quarters of them recall playing outside every day when they were children. But only a quarter of them say their kids play outside every day. And the time that is spent outside more often is an organized sport rather than exploring nature. It’s one of the little remarked upon ironies of our age that childhood obesity has skyrocketed at the same time as kids’ participation in organized sports has reached its zenith. How could this be? Well, for one thing, organized sports don’t actually provide as much activity as parents think they do. Little League games (and practices) involve a lot of standing around kicking dirt. An older gentleman I interviewed recently told me that he is a big supporter of the Boy Scouts in part because you can do well at it and enjoy being outside even if you’re not an athletic kid. “What it takes to earn a badge is hard work.” Sadly, Boy Scout membership has been in decline. The Girl Scouts, meanwhile, seem to be more concerned with subjects like Teaching Tolerance and Financial Literacy than pitching a tent or identifying birds. And now the kids who are not adept at sports just sit inside and play video games. Many parents say they keep their kids inside to keep them safe. In some bad neighborhoods, perhaps, their concerns are well founded. But there has been no spike in the number of child abductions in the leafy suburbs. So why do these parents give their children such a small radius in which to roam? Nature itself is now so unexplored that many adults and children have a deep-seated fear of it. In his 2005 book, “Last Child in the Woods,” Richard Louv suggests that popular culture has had some effect here, with movies like “The Blair Witch Project” suggesting that nature is something to be afraid of. But Louv argues that environmentalists themselves have contributed to the problem. Since whenever we speak to children about nature, it is usually about some apocalyptic event that is going to befall the planet, children get the message that nature is basically one big impending disaster. And when we talk to children about the importance of preserving nature, we are often referring to the damage done to some rainforest they will never see. But what about the idea of enjoying nature? Of wandering through the forests in their own back yards? Kids can no longer build treehouses because they’re too dangerous and might damage a tree. They can’t go fishing or hunting because they might kill something. They can’t wander aimlessly around outside because it won’t build their college résumé. We spend too much time fearing or pitying nature, and not enough time enjoying it.