I "ran away from home" a time or two when I was a kid. It was part of the ritual of growing up, to show your parents how mean they were and how sad they would be when they realized what they had driven you to. (Shades of "A Christmas Story," in the fantasy sequence where Ralphie imagines his parents' agony when they realize that washing his mouth out with soap had turned him blind.)
Can't do that in today's climate of fear. Julia Kuhn, 9, "ran away from home" and had an adventure at the downtown library before ending up at her aunt's house. Before it was over, more than 100 police and firefighters went looking for her in a search said to have cost $60,000 to $70,000, and she was on Page 1 of the newspapers and the lead story on TV.
It has to be done these days. You never know who is out there and what they might do -- well, the trouble is we do know. So instead of Julia's escapade being a minor tale told to appreciative chuckles at the dinner table it years to come, it might be a major embarrassment that follows her forever.