10 Things Baby Boomers Did That Would Be Considered Crazy Today

Vintage 1960 woman in convertible car looking over sunglasses.

Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, experienced a unique time in history that is vastly different from the world we live in today. Many things that the Boomers once considered normal and acceptable are now deemed crazy or even illegal.

Here are ten things Baby Boomers did that would be considered crazy today.

#1 No Seat Belts in Cars

In the 1960s and 1970s, seat belts were not yet a standard feature in vehicles, and many people did not use them. In fact, it wasn’t until 1984 that seat belt usage became mandatory in the United States.

Today, not wearing a seat belt is considered irresponsible and dangerous. Except for New Hampshire, all states have seat belt laws encouraging drivers to practice safe driving.

#2 Smoking Indoors

Smoking was once a widespread habit, especially in public places. Baby Boomers grew up in an era when smoking was allowed in movie theaters, restaurants, and even hospitals.

Today, smoking indoors is strictly prohibited in many places and is considered a significant health hazard.

#3 Lead in Gasoline

Lead was used as an additive in gasoline for many years, and Baby Boomers grew up with the fumes from leaded gasoline being a standard part of the air they breathed.

Today, lead in gasoline is banned in most countries because of its harmful effects on human health and the environment.

#4 No Car Seats for Children

Children were often not required to be in car seats, and many parents simply held their children on their laps while driving.

Today, car seats are mandatory for children of all ages, and failing to use one can result in severe penalties. CDC data shows that a car seat significantly reduces the risk of injury to children in crashes by 71-82%, compared to using the seat belt alone. That statistic alone is convincing for any parent to use car seats.

#5 No Sunscreen

Sunscreen was not widely available or used in the past. Baby Boomers often spent hours in the sun without any protection, leading to severe sunburns and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Today, sunscreen is a staple in many people’s daily routines and is recommended by the CDC for protecting skin from harmful UV rays. It’s also what Jennifer Lopez says is the secret behind her youthful skin in her 50s.

#6 No Bike Helmets

Bike helmets were not mandatory and were not considered for many years. Baby Boomers would ride their bikes without head protection, putting themselves at risk of serious head injury.

Today, bike helmets are mandatory for children and strongly encouraged for adults. Studies have indicated that wearing a bike helmet can reduce serious head injuries by 60%. Failing to wear one can also result in penalties.

#7 Unsupervised Playtime

As our parents tell us, there were mostly no concerns about letting children play outside on the road, in playgrounds, or near water bodies without adult supervision. At the beach, there may or may not have been a lifeguard to keep an eye out, but kids were largely left alone to play.

The times are truly different today. Stranger danger is real, there are strict water safety rules, and children usually play in their homes or backyards.

#8 Communication Was Slow

Baby Boomers grew up in a world without cell phones and often relied on letters, pay phones, or landlines for communication. Imagine having to get in touch with your loved ones in an emergency and running to the pay phone to make a call.

My grandmother tells a story of how she went into labor and gave birth, all without my grandfather realizing it till after he got home from work.

#9 No Environmental Regulations

Environmental regulations were not yet in place, and many companies and individuals would freely pollute the air, water, and soil without consequences. Many boomers and Gen – Xers grew up with hazardous smog in the cities and chemicals in their toys, homes, food, and water.

While the EPA has banned several toxic chemicals and materials since the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, there’s still a long way to go in safeguarding our planet’s climate.

#10 Children Grew Up Quickly

When boomers say kids today are spoiled, they aren’t kidding. In the past, children had a lot more responsibilities. The term “Latchkey Kids” was created to define children with working parents, who used to take care of themselves after school till their parents got home.

We’ve also heard stories of how kids used to be given a shopping list and sent off to the store. Items included cigarettes, cleaning products and alcohol – things that no one would sell to children today.


In conclusion, the world has changed significantly since the Baby Boomers’ time, and many things that were once considered normal are now considered crazy or even illegal.

However, despite these changes, it is essential to remember and appreciate the experiences and perspectives of this generation as they have shaped the world we live in today. Baby Boomers have a wealth of knowledge and history to offer, and their experiences remind us how far we have come regarding safety, technology, and societal norms. By reflecting on the past and learning from the experiences of previous generations, we can continue to progress and create a better world for future generations.

Featured Image Credit: ysbrand /Depositphotos.com.

This article originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

Like our content? Be sure to follow us.

DISCLOSURE: The post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy. This site is not intending to provide financial advice. This is for entertainment only.

Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of AshandPri.com and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.