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Rhoads: Child safety demands common sense



By Mark Rhoads Kids on bikes

Yesterday I saw a 5-year-old girl racing her bike around the edge of a swimming pool and wondered where her parents or the lifeguards were. When I saw no one near, I called out to the girl to get off her bike. I had to risk the annoyance of some parent who might have thought I was interfering.

But when I was a kid almost all adults in our neighborhood looked out for all kids to make sure there were enough adult eyes on the street at all times. Two weeks ago I wondered how a 3-year-old boy could just fall into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinatti Zoo.

Today I wondered how a 2-year-old boy could be taken away by an alligator in a lagoon on Disney World property in Orlando.

We all understand that parents who are supervising more than one small child can easily get distracted and children move very quickly. But far too often we seem to read about tragic accidents that might have been avoided if parents had only applied a little common sense to avoid places and times that could put their children in harm's way.

Anyone can become a parent and there is no certification for the job.  Some adults learn better parenting skills than others. But all parents have a duty to use common sense in the care of small children. Of course we naturally feel sympathy for parents whose children are harmed and we don't want to make their grief worse by blaming them when they are already grieving.  But that sympathy should not obscure the fact that too often parental negligence is a contributing factor to accidents that might not have happened if normal common sense had been applied in a dangerous setting.


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  1. And now, today, Wednesday, we hear that a toddler was grabbed by an alligator while splashing aloge the shore of a lagoon at Disney World.
    Here again, the kid’s parents did not exercise proper caution. ‘Gators are KNOWN to be in that waterway.
    I don’t suppose this story will be on the air or in print too long, due to the Disney empire’s money and influence. It most likely won’t get much coverage on ABC-TV, as Disney owns that media and it would be “bad publicity.”
    But if the ‘gator would have grabbed someone of the LGBT group we would not hear the END of it for WEEKS, and the personnel who killed several ‘gators attempting to extract the missing kid would be labeled as “gator-phobes,” and it would all be called the fault of Christians (or George Bush.)