One of the sadder aspects of modern life is the shortening period of childhood. In the age of mass communications, 'not in front of the children' is an obsolete phrase. Despite restrictions placed on televised material in early evening, the facts of life and death are constantly beamed into our living rooms where they are viewed by the whole family. Young ones become familiar with war, famine, pestilence and death as soon as they are capable of comprehension. No other generation has known so much about the world or been faced with such pressures as today's teenagers. The luxury of a carefree childhood now seldom extends beyond primary school. Teachers and social workers say that children are sexually aware and active at a much earlier age. That may be regrettable, but it has to be faced. The question then arises, which is the wisest course - to teach children about sexual hygiene, to warn of the risk of sexually transmitted disease and do everything possible to minimise the danger, or to lecture them on promiscuity, and leave it at that? AIDS is arguably the greatest pestilence in the world today, but the chances of contracting the virus are greatly lessened by the use of condoms. It would seem common sense to make sure they are widely available throughout the territory. Urban Councillors are deceived if they think teenaged children will purchase condoms at supermarkets. They may be mature, but they are rarely sophisticated enough to buy over the counter. Public toilets are the obvious place for vending machines. Condoms can be acquired in private, without embarrassment. Whether this encourages teenagers into an early sex life is difficult to prove. But if they are sexually active, the lack of condoms will not deter them. Ready access to them could save a young life.