Remember earlier this year when Applebee's accidentally served alcohol to a toddler? Lenore Skenazy does, along with what she sees as the ridiculous overreaction of both the national media and the restaurant chain. It was "as if serving toddlers stiff drinks had been company-wide policy," she writes in the Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately, it's a perfect example of how America goes into overblown panic mode over perceived threats to kids that really aren't threats.
"This collective decision not to distinguish between rare screw-ups and systemic dangers is turning us into neurotic Nellies who worry about, warn against and, finally, outlaw very safe things," writes Skenazy, who rounds up other examples, including schools that outlaw running at recess. Well, guess what? "Play, like life, comes with the possibility that someone may get hurt. When we overreact to that possibility, the only acceptable activity left is to sit on a chair and wait to die." (Read more Applebee's stories.)