American Children in the 1970s and 80s, known today as Generation X, played with toys that would make present-day parents faint in horror. From toys with sharp metal edges to candy that choke-hazard experts would likely label criminal, playthings of that era were not what they are today. There were no warning labels, no ingredient listings, no hazards noted and lawsuits of today hadn't happened yet.

Five things Generation X children played with or ate that now seem dangerous

  • Candy Cigarettes

These might be one of the most mind-boggling candy items of any generation.

Not only did these packs of gum cigarettes come as exact replicas of real packs, but they also included candy dust to allow a kid to “puff on a cig" while playing.

  • Metal Mania

Metal was to Generation X what plastic is to Millennials – it's everywhere and most things are made from it. Unable to pick only one metal toy, I decided to call this whole craze, "Metal Mania." It would be difficult to find a child from this time period who never burnt their legs and arms going down a metal playground slide. Our lunch boxes were made of metal. Our toy cars and trucks were made of metal, making them not only incredibly heavy but also little danger zones for unwanted scratches. And who doesn’t remember metal roller skates that could slice an ankle right off if you fell on it wrong?

  • Jawbreakers

These things definitely make one wonder what people were thinking back then. I mean, it’s in the name! Jawbreakers are balls of dense sugar excellent for cracking teeth while priming them for cavities. The candy has gotten much smaller over the years, but when these bad-boys came out, it was the bigger, the better, and no one seemed to worry much about kid's choking.

  • Sling Shots

While these may perhaps belong to those before Generation X, during the 80s they were still very popular and insanely dangerous. Talk about taking out an eye! Putting one of these in the hands of an overactive child was just asking for trouble. If they put a rock in there (which they often did!), they could do some serious damage.

Back then though, slingshots were not only common but also looked upon as a normal addition to a toy collection, especially for boys. Today, if a kid came around with a slingshot, all hell would break loose but then, that would make sense considering they are weapons after all.

  • Wooden See-Saws & Swings

If you’re anything like me, you remember sitting on a wooden swing or seesaw and getting slivers on your legs and hands. If it wasn’t metal back then, it was wood and while wood may seemingly be innocent for children to play around, it really isn’t. Not only does it give slivers, but also back in the day it was painted so colored lead paint chips would fly off in all directions, often getting in Gen X'ers eye.

As someone who partook in these playthings, I suppose I can say I’m a proud survivor of Generation X toys and candy. Are you too?