What are your thoughts as you drive to work each day? Are they more like: Gee! I can’t wait to get to work so I can….! Or are they more like: Ugh! Wonder what H*#^l am I going to face today???? Which way describes your commute?
For me, it’s more an enjoyable ride to work as I eagerly anticipate the day’s schedule and workload. However, recently, I have begun to realize that by the very nature of my work, I am exposed to information and situations that make me hate my job. Hate is a strong word. Maybe at least dislike strongly is better. I hate dislike strongly when a local news station calls me to do an interview about a child death. I welcome the opportunity to raise awareness to critical issues, but who wants to talk about that? It’s more than sad; it is outright depressing when an innocent child loses his/her life especially when it is at the hands of someone to whom their care has been entrusted.
We hear and read in the news how we should eat right to prevent this …. disease; exercise to avoid this … unpleasantness; take these supplements to evade this or that problem. Most child deaths are preventable too. In a recent post by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, it is noted that preventable deaths are on the decline. “An array of factors contributes to child and teen mortality rates, including: overall physical and behavioral health, access to medical care, and — especially in younger children — the quality of adult supervision.” Read that last line again and let it sink in for a moment: QUALITY OF ADULT SUPERVISION. Now you don’t have to take supplements or necessarily eat right or exercise, although those traits may help you keep up with a young child, to provide quality adult supervision. Most quality adult supervision simply requires common cents sense. For example:
- Keep your eyes on the child – the younger they are, the closer your eyes need to be.
- Keep unsafe objects away and inaccessible to a child -- children are curious. They wander, especially toward brightly colored objects or sweets. They don't know the difference between a colored soft drink and radiator fluid, for example.
- Use precaution -- stay together in public; hold hands while crossing the street; approach strangers carefully (if at all); etc. It's common sense!
- If you go in together, come out together -- water, car, parking lots, buildings, etc.
The list could go on and on, but the simple fact remains: If a child is in your care, than care for it as if their life depended on YOU, because it does especially the younger they are.
So why this rant now? Here’s why: another young boy died recently at the hands of a caregiver - a caregiver who had an extensive rap sheet of crimes, someone who did not demonstrate quality care. What’s worse, I have not heard anywhere, is how long did it take for this child to be reported missing? The first I heard of the case was when he was found dead and had been for more than 24 hours. Where was the Amber Alert? That young boy had potential. He had life. Then it was gone.
Now this post may make you uncomfortable. Well then be uncomfortable BUT do something about it. Stand up for children. Lift your voice in their favor. Let someone know you care before it’s too late.