1950 Childhood vs. Today
In an excellent post, Bryan Caplan points out that childhood is far safer in many ways today compared to 1950, a supposedly idyllic time of "Leave it to Beaver," etc. I suspect that the availability heuristic may play some role here. As childhood risks become lower, they ironically become better fodder for the news media, which tends to focus on rare sensational stories. In turn, the average person tends to overestimate risks that have been the subject of news coverage, and that are readily called to mind.