It’s 2015 and I wanted to write something inspiring for the first BeChildSafe piece of the year. Then I heard some news. A deranged parent, a father, had thrown his 5-year old daughter from a bridge in Florida yesterday. The child’s mother who has Multiple Sclerosis was inconsolable. Not ten minutes later, I read about an 8-year old child in a Bergen County, NJ school (where I grew up) who was at the school for a soccer program and somehow a folding table collapsed on him and killed him. There were no more details.
Learning of these two sad events within moments of each other, to be honest, my spirits were dashed. I cannot dare to imagine how devastated the families of these children must be. I had wanted to say in this first piece of the year, that perhaps children were safer than in any other year. I wanted to say that parents are really paying attention to their children and were carefully, lovingly caring for them. And these two random events made me question, all over again, where we are going in our society… Crime against the very young is becoming a common theme in today’s news. A father in Chicago was recently charged with the murder of his toddler. Did drugs enter in? It’s no longer difficult to imagine the worst. A young woman in Virginia most likely will go to prison for her part in the death of a child in her care.
Such sad news only makes me more determined to continue alerting parents, caregivers and family members to safety issues we learn about, because the safety and the care of children is probably the most important duty– as a caregiver or family member, as extended family members, as “A Village”, as a society– that we have.
Also, I urge anyone who reads this blog or cares about kids to remember and practice, “If you see something, say something.” If you suspect a child is being neglected, hurt or abused in any way–whether it is by a parent, extended family member, caregiver or even a family friend, to contact the appropriate authorities.
Please do what you can do to keep kids safe in 2015!