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Overprotecting our children

May 22, 2008

Re "Please, 'go outside and play,' " Opinion, May 15

Rosa Brooks is right about parents and the media overestimating the "dangers" facing today's children.

Thirty years ago, I opened the door and went outside and played. True, we lived in a fairly rural area. Still, I rode my bike three or four miles to the local village without a helmet. My sisters and our friends slid down the hill across the street on cardboard boxes and played tag on a street paved with loose gravel. For a while, we had a mean Shetland pony that threw me twice and bit my sister on the ear. We had a great time.

I don't really think that today's overprotected children are any better off, and I'm not certain that over-scheduling every moment of a child's day ensures that he or she will be safe. During the years we were sliding down hills, one of our neighbors -- the same age as my youngest sister -- was being molested by her father.

That is one fact that hasn't changed over the years: Many child abusers are related to their victims.

Susan Buckner

Seal Beach

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