Why do you rarely see barefoot kids any more?

When I was a kid, especially in the summer, kids often went around barefoot. I grew up in the city with things like blacktop (got hot in the summer), oil slick, trash and glass, and we still went round without shoes. I can't think of one serious foot injury any one I knew ever got doing it. The bottoms of our... show more When I was a kid, especially in the summer, kids often went around barefoot. I grew up in the city with things like blacktop (got hot in the summer), oil slick, trash and glass, and we still went round without shoes. I can't think of one serious foot injury any one I knew ever got doing it. The bottoms of our feet were tough and leathery, and by the end of the summer no amount of scrubbing would remove the black stains on them.

Now I can go weeks without seeing even an infant without shoes! People give you dirty looks if your kids are out and about and otherwise clean and presentable, but without shoes.
Don't people realise that going barefoot isn't going to hurt anyone and is actually healthy? When did all this shoe obsession start?
Update: What are you people talking about? Pavement isn't any more dangerous than it was in the 80's! If anything it's cleaner, with all the anti-litter campaigns. Also, hook worm is transmitted through fresh faecal matter. You'd only be at serious risk of it if someone carrying hook worm left their... show more What are you people talking about? Pavement isn't any more dangerous than it was in the 80's! If anything it's cleaner, with all the anti-litter campaigns.

Also, hook worm is transmitted through fresh faecal matter. You'd only be at serious risk of it if someone carrying hook worm left their fresh faeces on the street and then you stepped in it. You're unlikely to get it in Europe or North America because the prevalence is so low and sanitation is so good, and it's easily treatable if by some freak chance you do.
Update 2: Oh, and I grew up in Queens. Never saw one needle laying about in the streets and I had the sense not to step on stuff that looked like nails and glass.

And I, at least, bathed daily.
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