There was a study about fear that was printed in the New York Times back in December of 2010. It stated that the top 5 killers of teenagers were, in this order, car accidents, homicide (usually committed by someone they know.), child abuse, suicide, and drowning. What were the top five things that parents across the country said they were afraid of for their teens? Kidnapping, school snipers, terrorists, dangerous strangers, and drugs.
Our fears are misplaced. "Parents are just bad at risk management. We are constantly overestimating rare dangers and underestimating common ones" Christie Barnes author of The paranoid Parents Guide said. So instead of teaching kids to fear their own shadow when in public, we should be teaching them how to drive responsibly, how to pick good friends, to report abuse, and how to swim.