Baby Boomers’ Survival Guide to 20 Outrageous Lifestyle Trends

Baby Boomers experienced a variety of unique and sometimes questionable lifestyle trends, especially in areas like child rearing, medical practices, home remedies, travel, and transport. These trends not only shaped their lives but also evoke nostalgia and sometimes disbelief about what was once considered normal.

1. Lead-Based Paint

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Widely used in homes until the late 1970s, lead-based paint was a common but hazardous decorating choice, later found to cause numerous health problems in children.

2. Asbestos Insulation

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Asbestos was a popular insulation material for its fire-resistant properties, only for Boomers to later learn about its severe risks to lung health.

3. No Seatbelts in Cars

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Seatbelts weren’t a standard or mandatory feature in vehicles until the late 1960s, meaning many Boomers grew up traveling without any restraints.

4. Smoking Everywhere

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Smoking was ubiquitous and socially acceptable, even in enclosed public spaces like airplanes and medical facilities, reflecting a stark contrast to today’s public health standards.

5. Frequent Sunbathing Without Sunscreen

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Sunbathing without protection was the norm, long before the awareness of skin cancer risks associated with UV exposure became widespread.

6. Cold War Drills


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Boomers often participated in duck-and-cover drills at school, a regular reminder of the nuclear threat during the Cold War era.

7. Cough Syrup with Codeine for Children

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It was not uncommon for children to be given cough syrup containing codeine or other now-controlled substances to treat minor coughs and colds.

8. Use of Mercury in Thermometers

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Mercury thermometers were standard in homes and hospitals, despite the toxic risk mercury posed if the glass broke.

9. Lax Car Seat Regulations

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Child car seats were not only rare but also poorly designed by today’s standards, providing minimal protection in the event of a crash.

10. Hitchhiking as a Norm

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Hitchhiking was a popular and socially accepted mode of transport for young people, despite the risks that are more emphasized today.

11. Heavy Metal Toys

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Toys were often made from heavy metals and other hazardous materials without safety regulations, leading to safety hazards.

12. Public Drinking Fountains

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The widespread use of public drinking fountains without concern for hygiene or water quality reflects a less health-conscious era.

13. Air Travel Dress Codes

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Flying often required formal attire, reflecting a time when air travel was considered a luxury experience.

14. Household DIY Repairs with Toxic Materials

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DIY home repairs often involved materials like lead paint and asbestos without awareness of the health risks.

15. Raw Egg Consumption

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Consuming raw eggs in various foods and beverages was common, long before salmonella risks were widely acknowledged.

16. Manual Labor as Child Play

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Children often engaged in manual labor as part of family chores or farm work, a stark contrast to today’s child labor laws.

17. Saturated Fat Consumption

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Diets high in saturated fats were the norm without the knowledge of heart disease risks associated with poor dietary choices.

18. Over-the-Counter Amphetamines

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Amphetamines were readily available over the counter for weight loss or as energy boosters, used without much oversight.

19. Travel Without Security Checks

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Traveling often involved minimal security, particularly in airports, where passengers could arrive minutes before a flight without the need for lengthy security checks.

20. Cassette Tapes in Cars

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Boomers saw the rise and fall of cassette tapes as a primary medium for music in cars, complete with the frustration of tangled tape ribbons.

Still Standing

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From home hazards to health missteps, Baby Boomers have lived through an array of practices that seem almost unthinkable today. These trends not only illustrate how far we’ve come in terms of safety and awareness but also highlight the resilience and adaptability of a generation that managed to navigate through them.

The post Baby Boomers’ Survival Guide to 20 Outrageous Lifestyle Trends first appeared on Mama Say What?!

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.