There is a difference between fit custodial parenting and negligent guardianship. A parent who does not make their own child’s safety primary could be guilty of parental neglect or inadequate guardianship. Not being in a pool with your child when your young child is in the pool could be one such instance. Sitting or standing out of the pool socializing with others is insufficient to notice a quiet drowning of a child. Being in the pool facing the child at all times can and will prevent this.
Recently, there was a tragic drowning death of a five year old in a swimming pool during a block party. All the other children there are now to some degree emotionally and psychologically scarred from seeing the dead child pulled from the pool, covered and removed by ambulance. As always, there is an outpouring of sympathy for the parents. I am sure there will be “politically correct” calls for more stringent pool security now too.
Reality check: Where were the parents? They say it only takes a second while talking to a friend, picking up a beer, answering the phone, etc. What should be said is that a five year old should not be in the pool unless one or both of his or her parents or other “responsible for that child adult” is in the pool with the child. I do not believe in accidents, only negligence. This was negligence. Child protective services should be all over this. If those parents have other children, custody of those children should be supervised by CPS.
An accident is the child starting to run before the parent can yell “DO NOT RUN,” and the child trips, hits his head, and falls into the pool. But because the parent has his or her eyes clued to the child, the child is immediately removed from the pool and checked for injury. The trip and fall was the accident, but had the child in this example drowned, then the accident would have been followed by negligence.
Children need to be taught to stay out of other people’s backyards and if they enter someone else’s yard without permission, they are to be punished. If a child can push a chair by the door to reach the knob and turn it, a chain must be pout on the door on the door out of the child’s reach even on a chair. Every child’s own parent is first and foremost responsible this or her own child.
To those who may say this blog is insensitive to those parents who just their child, I say if we do not hold them responsible, we fail all future children whose such fate may have been avoided by holding these parents responsible. At the age of five, a parent has no excuse not to know exactly where that child is at every moment, unless the child is left with an other “responsible for that child adult” who is then charged with the same responsibility.
Reality and responsibility must win the day, not being sensitive and politically correct.