I personally don't think a rule to protect children is going to have any adverse effect on a league for adults that get paid millions to play. There's a pretty drastic difference. I don't have kids yet, so my opinion is irrelevant to what i'm about to put forward, but as a parent teaching my kid how to play a sport i'd like to focus on skill and sportsmanship over telling him as an 11 year old that it's okay to hit that other kid on the opposing team. Sure I agree completely that hitting is part of the sport, but at that age of human and character development i'm not opposed to non-hitting hockey leagues for the sake of values and learning at that age.
I think the problem with hitting in the lower leagues is they don't teach how to check or how to take one. Are they also teaching them why? Checking a guy is to try and take him off the puck not cream him. There is a purpose and is it being taught?