America's obsession with safety has stunted children's development. It has made play so boring that American children spend hours on the sofa with their video games, contributing to the crisis of obesity.
My 7-year-old son and I had a fun but tiring summer last year, a three-month push and pull between his desire to grow up and my desire to keep him safe. I vowed to make this summer a summer of more freedom for both of us, and enlisted the help of Lenore Skenazy.
While we mourn the death of young Leiby Kletzky, we must remember that safety is more than just the absence of danger. It's the presence of a full and happy life -- a life that's not dominated by fear.
As a pediatrician, I am very aware of the dangers for children. Over time, however, I have come to the conclusion that we are doing our kids a disservice by being hyper aware of all the dangers in our society.
It's been a long time since Michael Jackson created anything much in the way of great music. We can mourn the man who lost his way. But if we're sad at his passing, I think we're mainly missing the Jackson fans we were ourselves.