The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, January 26, 2005  

Missing Out on So Much

There's a disheartening article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer, "Sledders Are Finding it Tough to Hit the Slopes," in which reporter Christine Schiavo writes of the dispiriting atmosphere surrounding sledding, tubing, and tobaggoning in this day and age, specifically addressing some local governments' decisions to outlaw this timeless childhood and adolescent activity, in certain cases relying upon regulations dating back more than ten years.

Here's the scare statistic, offered by "Today" show perennials, the easily frightened nannies at the U.S. Consumer Product "A child could choke on that!" Safety Commission: "[M]ore than 30,000 sledders, about half of them younger than 14, sought emergency-room treatment last year."

(Um . . . How many of those 30,000 were sent away by hospital staff tired of dealing with hysterical baby-boom parents?)

You know the culprit, or the assigned culprit: litigation and rising insurance premiums.

I think often about how much today's kids are missing. Kids get hurt. Sometimes they get hurt a lot, and badly. I did; didn't you? Is that so horrible? Didn't you learn something from that? About your limits, what's reasonable, and what's stupid? I did.

God, the things we did back then! The crazy, dangerous, and reckless acts that we, my siblings and our friends, I mean, did and still haven't revealed to our parents, they who bore the full weight of numerous emergency-room visits!

Whoever it was who invented the concept of the "play date" should be shot.

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