Amid the cacophony of terrifying Amber Alerts, columnist Lenore Skenazy, 49, has become something of a heretic, says Salon.com. She’s an American mother of two adolescent boys who dares to suggest that today’s kids aren’t growing up in constant state of near peril. She first got noticed on the subject when she and her husband allowed their then 9-year-old son Izzy to ride the subway alone in April 2008, leading to a round of appearances on TV news shows.
In her new book, “Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts With Worry,” Skenazy suggests that many American parents are in the grips of a national hysteria about child safety, which is fed by sensationalistic media coverage of child abductions, safety tips from alarmist parenting mags, and companies marketing products that promise to protect tykes from every possible danger. She says tells Salon, “The crime rate today is equal to what it was back in 1970. In the ’70s and ’80s, crime was climbing. It peaked around 1993, and since then it’s been going down.()We’re living in really safe times, and it’s hard to believe.”