Does fear of lawsuits account for the wussification of kids' lives these days?
Occasionally when I discuss the changes that I've looked into with others, especially if they're parents, they agree that sadly their kids don't get to enjoy a wholesome exciting childhood like we did -- but that it just goes to show you how pervasive the fear of lawsuits is.
That could possibly account for why playgrounds nowadays look unbelievably infantilized and come with graphic warning stickers plastered all over. Yet you see the same changes where only the child's parents themselves could be held liable.
We used to climb trees on our own property back in the '80s, and if you're on the look-out while walking around your neighborhood, you may even see signs (ruins?) of that time -- thin wooden steps nailed up the side of a tree trunk, a rope leading up 20 feet that used to support a tire swing, the same rope for climbing, with knots every couple feet, or those homemade treehouses that never looked too sturdy.
Today all of that stuff goes unused, and so do regular old tree branches. You don't even see kids playing out on the front lawn or in the driveway. Since the parents would have no one to blame but themselves for any accidents that happened there, the fear of lawsuits plays no role. Parents just don't want their kids to have a life, and when we've got one good explanation that covers all cases like that, we can ignore explanations that shift blame away from the parents themselves, like those that blame a litigious culture, the government, or whoever else.