Growing up in the ’60s and ’70s was a whole different ball game to the childhood experiences many have today. Things were much more relaxed, which makes us wonder how so many of us made it out alive.
Our parents would hardly ever check we were wearing a seatbelt, we ate whatever we wanted without ever thinking of our health, and from a young age we were given more responsibility than we ever needed.
You know you grew up in the best decades ever if you did these 12 dangerous things as a kid.
Chasing After DDT Trucks On Your Street
Looking back this probably wasn’t the smartest idea, but it was so much fun nonetheless. As soon as one of these monstrosities rode down your street, you were running right behind it with all your friends. They were used to release chemical sprays into the air to help fight off mosquitos, but no ’60s or ’70s kid worried about breathing in the harmful chemicals for themselves or running in front of fast moving traffic to get behind it. It just had to be done.
Eating Endless Amount Of Sugar
These days you can’t take one look at social media without seeing a kale and spinach smoothie, but in the 1960s and ’70s things were so much different when it came to diet. If it was on the supermarket shelf then it went on our plates! From Wonder Bread sandwiches to Twinkies, we’re surprised we grew into fully-fledged adults putting that amount of sugar into our bodies.
Not Wearing A Helmet
It was all about living life on the edge back then, so when it came to something that could protect your safety, people often didn’t bother. We all remember riding out with our friends, doing wheelies in the middle of the road with no helmet in sight. Falling off your bike was just a way of gaining another impressive scar to show your mates, and if you managed to escape cracking your head open on the pavement, life was all good.
Being A Latchkey Kid
Those of us who were latchkey kids in the ’60s or ’70s were totally winning at life. You would be given the house key to let yourself in after school when your parents were still at work, and it was finally your chance to rule the roost. Your parents would expect you to be doing homework as soon as you got in, but in reality you were watching secret episodes of The Brady Brunch while eating endless amounts of Fruit Stripe Gums.
Never Wearing A Seatbelt
Flashback to the ’60s and ’70s and you’ll remember that everyone was so much more relaxed about wearing a seatbelt in a car. Kids could lie down across the back seats if they wanted to and their parents wouldn’t care. If your mom and dad had a station wagon who were in for even more of a treat rolling around in the cargo area. And who else remembers taking a ride in a flatbed pickup? With no roof and no cushioned seats, the only thing that mattered was the wind in your hair.
Having Fun In Reckless Playgrounds
From swinging so high on a swing-set that part of it would fall off, to burning your skin off on a hot metal slide, playgrounds back then were definitely not safe, but we certainly didn’t care! There were no cushioned matts to make for a safe landing, you fell right on the hard asphalt.
Playing With Hazardous Toys
These days you can’t buy anything for your child without it being a choking hazard, but ’60s and ’70s kids played with some of the most dangerous toys around. Let’s face it, our parents were a lot more chilled about what we could play with, which meant sunny afternoons playing outside with your friends was always a recipe for disaster. From sharp metal objects to messing around with noxious chemical wastes, we’re surprised we ever made it out of the decade.
Taking A Ride In A Ford Pinto
As if not wearing a seatbelt wasn’t dangerous enough, we all risked our lives by taking a ride in a Ford Pinto, the car that was known for having a poorly fitted fuel tank that could explode any minute. The cars were rightfully discontinued in 1980 and all of us who risked our lives by getting into one thankfully survived.
In the 1970s you couldn’t escape the permanent haze of smoke in the air from adults around us smoking. Whether it was on airplanes or in cars, smoking in public places was totally normal meaning we probably inhaled more tobacco than ever when we were just a kid. Thankfully our lungs survived and we made it out of the decade.
Nabbing The Front Seat In The Car
Remember when front seats in cars were benches and you could sit between your mom and dad as they drove you to school? If you came from a big family then you’ll definitely understand the fight with your siblings to get the best seat in the car. You were in total control of the radio and you loved it.
Being The Best Babysitter Ever
Once you reached the age of 12, and if you had a younger sibling, it was your turn to babysit. Looking back, it probably wasn’t a good idea to leave a 12-year old in charge, but you certainly weren’t complaining if you got the chance to boss your little brother or sister around.
Summer In The ’60s and ’70s
Breaking up from school for the summer is amazing in any decade, but back then it was one of the most dangerous times to be a child. From leaving the house for hours on end to running around bare foot, we put ourselves at risk each day just to have a good time with our friends. Yet the days of no cellphones and endless fun with your friends made growing up in the ’60s and ’70s one of the best times ever.