We are getting to the point where we might as well wrap our children in cotton wool and put them on a shelf. The latest thing in the U.S. is choking danger from foods. Hot dogs, grapes and popcorn are listed as some of the more dangerous foods. There is talk of labeling foods or even redesigning them to lessen the danger.
Guess what? Adults choke on food, too. I can see this going two ways: either we (society) teach people to cut foods up for small children and teach children to properly chew their foods, or we all get food processors and chop our foods into itty-bitty pieces so there will be no choking danger.
As far as letting your child walk to school, when do these people think the children will be old enough? Are they going to accompany their adult children to job interviews (I've actually heard of this), escort them on dates (in case the other party is a serial killer) and generally hold their hands for the rest of their lives?
As parents, it's our job to teach our children, to raise them to be responsible adults. Responsibility (and trust) begins early.
Now, I do believe in a lot of safety precautions. I firmly believe that everyone should wear a seat belt (and children should be in car seats. I think that you should work on the safety issues you can and then kind of take it easy. I have cautioned my kids (who are now teens) about certain strangers and they can now check the sex offender registry for themselves. (There are 15 registered sex offenders within 5 miles of us, 4 in our small town and two within a block.)
But I also have to let them do their own thing to a certain extent. Because I'm not going to be around forever, taking care of my kids into adulthood as if they were still toddlers. They need to grow up and become their own, responsible adults.