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2 year old drowns

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
This was in the local news this morning:

What do you guys think about parents of children being charged with at minimum, neglect or child endangerment in a situation like this? It just seems like lately there has been a lot in the news about 'accidents' involving small children. While I understand that there are true accidents, I can't help but think that small children, under no circumstances, should be allowed even near the water, especially at a beach, without a parent right by their side. It's beach season right now, and this is not a good way for it to start off

Oh, and just a little info on Hugenot park, where the accident took place.... it is know for it's strong currents and fast changing tide. People lose their vehicles out there all the time. They park near the water at low tide, and before you know it the tide is in and it's too late to save the car.
My cousin and I actually had to be rescued by the marine patrol out there as kids. We were probably about 11 or 12 years old. We weren't being supervised very closely either.
post #2 of 18
I think every two year old should be on a leash at all times. I don't know how many times when my kids were that age I would blink and they were gone. However, even when someone else was watching my kids and we were all at the same place, I knew where they were at all times. As far as criminal charges are concerned, I'm not sure.
post #3 of 18
while i do think this is so terrible, i do think the parents should have kept a closer eye on the baby, but i think they probably know this now, they must feel so terrible, and they have to live with the guilt for the rest of their lives. that in itself is a life sentence.
post #4 of 18
There's a point, and then there's a point!

Somewhere between when I was growing up and now people forgot that kids are kids and sometimes accidents happen that really aren't anyone's fault - at least not their fault criminally. Last spring a man took his son and nephew out river rafting. Something happened (don't remember the full story now...), and the raft with the son was swept down the river. Anyway, the boy ended up being killed. The father broke at least one of his legs trying to get out into the rapids to try to save the boy, but wasn't able to get to him. After all this...they wanted to charge the father with neglegent homicide. If I remember right, as they were getting off the raft they took off their lifejackets so the boy wasn't wearing one when the raft took off. They finally decided not to charge him after a long and drawn out process.

But can you imagine? Not only do you lose your child, but they want to throw you in jail too?
post #5 of 18
You make a great point Heidi. Kids are kids and accidents happen. Tragic though it is, it's the way things sometimes happen.


You said: "My cousin and I actually had to be rescued by the marine patrol out there as kids. We were probably about 11 or 12 years old. We weren't being supervised very closely either."

Were your parents or the parents of your cousin prosecuted?
Should they have been, or are we now holding parents to a higher standard than we did in the past?

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Heidi, I also think that you made a very good point. I know that accidents happen, and they are horrible. I think it is just frustrating that there seems to be so many accidents involving young children around here lately. Kids being run over by their parents backing out of the driveway (happened twice in 1 month), many drowning accidents, etc. etc. I just hate to see these things. I guess I am partial to water accidents because I believe so strongly that any young child near the water should be right beside an adult and especially at a beach. The water is so unpredictable.

Also, I forgot to mention, I don't have a child myself. But keep my bf's little boy (7) very often (we live together) and have had a lot of experience around children, I worked in a daycare and have always baby sat. I know that kids can dissappear on you from time to time and accidents can and will happen.

I used to work at a criminal defense attorney's office. One guy's child accidently fell down some stairs after accidently making out the front door on their own. This was his story, the prosecuter came up with evidence he had another child who accidently made it out the backdoor and drowned in the family pool. How do you know which parents learn from the accidents, and which ones are true accidents this day and age with so many parents murdering or causing physical harm to their kids (it's on the news all the time)? I guess that's my question.

My family had to go home after my cousin and I were rescued from the water. I believe that there would have been charges if we drowne dbecause the marine patrol had all ready warned us and our parents about the water and told us not to go past our knees. We of course were playing and not paying attention and before you know it we were swept away before we could even yell for help
post #7 of 18
I agree that there are some really horrible parents out there in this day and age.....or maybe it's just that we hear about them more often. I see it in our news too - parents who just don't have any idea how much they really have to watch their kids. I hear about it from other parents who DO watch their kids, and who see kids doing such stupid things (that kids do....) with no parent in sight. In fact there was just a notice that went out to everyone in our apartment complex saying that kids cannot ride their bikes, skateboards, etc. without parental supervision (mainly because the kids were tearing up the grass because no one was watching them...). I've seen kids up on the roof of the mailboxes "building" - again, no parents watching. Seems there are some parents that think kids will raise themselves.....
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yeah, it's really sad. I just reread my first post and I truly hope I didn't come across the wrong way. I never meant it to sound like all parents who kids are involved in accidents should be charged with something. I am really sorry if it came across like that. I should have phrased it a little better to say irresponsible parents.... and I guess I shouldn't have matched it with that story being that there were so few details released and I wasn't there, so who knows how it went about. Just like I said before, the water thing is an issue with me.
post #9 of 18
There was a year that my kids had been to the emergency room so many times (bike wrecks WITH helmets, jumping off things, etc) that I was threatened with CPS to "investigate". I'm not worried if they were to come, and I think if they did that with each and every case there would be alot of abuse issues uncovered earlier. However, the time they spend investigating me could be time well spent on investigating an actual abuse case. I've had people ask me before why my children never seem to get into things while they are outside. I tell them because I am there watching them, not sleeping on the couch like a few mothers around here do. Sure as everything, if I go inside for a minute, they are up to no good. If they are 17 and still playing outside, I'm sure I would be out there watching them. These days, you can't afford to take your eyes off kids for a second that someone may take them or they will be hurt or worse.
post #10 of 18
Yeah, the big difficulty in any of these events is discerning the difference between [a] a true accident, that happens simply because all kids, basically, are an accident looking for a place to happen, and [b] true negligence, where normal vigilence would have prevented the accident or at least minimized its effect.

It seems that there are more negligent parents these days than there were when I was growing up. Perhaps it's just that we hear about more of them, but I'm not confident that that's all of it.

In the end, I think we need to be careful in discerning the difference between those two situations, pastoral in the first, and tough in the second. The parent who loses a child to a true accident does not need any more punishment; the loss will be far and away enough. The negligent parent should have the book thrown at him/her. However, I'd be inclined to think that jail time should be a last resort, used only in cases where the child and any siblings will be removed from the parent(s) anyway.
post #11 of 18
The thing is that we have certain standards now, and this arbitrary line is what we judge people against.

Many people take for granted that which should really shock them. Their standards are so low. As a teen, I had two dogs that I took home with the best of intentions but ended up neglecting things like grooming and walking. My friend's standards were based on what he saw around him, which involved things like his uncle locking his dogs in his bathroom for 12 hours a day. By that standard, the uncle was pretty much normal and I was an awesome dog guardian! Being brought up to see dogs as deserving of good care and high priority, I realized much better than he how much better my dogs' lives would have been if I took better care of them. Then there are people who routinely treat their dogs worse than the uncle did, and I know there are people who care for their dogs much better than what I think is "decent care."

I realized long ago that people have very different standards--some have higher ones that other people think are ridiculous and unnecessary, some have low ones that other people find abusive and appalling--but the higher the standards, the happier everyone involved was as far as I could tell. There's no such thing as too high a standard or being too careful or being too safe or whatever, unless it lowers another standard.

So to those who think it's too demanding and silly to watch their kids constantly unless in a controlled, safe it really too much? Would you feel the same way if everyone around you did watch their children that closely?
post #12 of 18
I can remember running down the street to play with my friends. Our parents were all inside doing whatever parents did back then. The only mother I remember sitting outside with us was the parent of an only child, and everyone called that mother over-protective. I agree, sit outside with your child while they are still very young, but once they are 9-10 or older, why?? My nephew rides his bike over to his friend's house all by himself and comes home by himself in time for dinner. I agree with Jeff...we seem to be holding parents up to a higher standard than in the past simply because we hear about accidents easier. There isn't more danger out there, we just have better and more immediate access to news and the world

As for the parent of the 2 yr old, that was sheer negligence. Two year olds don't have the thought process yet for safety. Nor do they have the coordination to get themselves out of danger.
post #13 of 18
sweets i dont agree with you on that one thoroughly. i do agree that they should have kept a better eye on the baby, but as i said before dont you think they know this now? they probably tokk their eyes of the child for less than 2 seconds, i do not think that it was neglect. and i think it is unfair for people to say.
post #14 of 18
I do think most parents need to keep a closer eye on their kids. I have seen a lot of parents foolishly negelect their children just thinking that someone will watch them if they see them.

That being said, this case didn't seem so much like negligence as an honest mistake. The mom thought the sister was watching, the sister thought the mom was watching -- so everyone seemed to understand that the child needed supervision, they just had poor communication.

post #15 of 18
yes aquarius i totally agree. so thats why i dont think people saying its neglect is fair, as i said before, they will have to live with this for the rest of their lives
post #16 of 18
A few years ago something very similiar happened in my area:
A local family was having a family reunion to celebrate the 4th of July near a river that was swollen from recent rains and had a fast current. One second a little 4 year old boy was playing near the river bank, and the very next second he was gone...forever. They had to drag the river for 2 days before they finally found his body. The authorities thought that the little boy had accidently fallen into the river, and instead of charging his mother with negligence, the authorities considered the death to be a very unfortunate tragedy.

I am a mother, and I do know tragedies can happen very quickly when young children are involved. IMO, the 2 year old drowning during the graduation celebration is a tragedic accident and not negligence.
post #17 of 18
a few years ago, some very good friends of mine lost their little boy.
he was 4 yrs old, and his dad took him and his brothers down the canal fishing, the little boy fell in, the dad jumped in to save him, but he drowned . i saw the pain they went through, they had to go through an inquest but they didnt gat charged with anything, and they didnt neglect their son.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Those are some really sad stories. I guess the best thing to do is what they have been, just investigate on a case by case basis. I do think that they need to do a little more investigating than they do in many circumstances. In my old apartment we had a girl who must have been 22 maybe, she had 2 kids a 4 year old and a 2 year old. She always left the kids outside playing unsupervised, left them alone, and even locked the 2 year old on the patio at 2 am and told him he couldn't come in until he quit crying. (I lived downstairs and heard all of this). You could always hear her screaming at them. Once I came home from work at lunchtime and the kids were playing ont he stairs. The little boy fell and started crying. I walked the kids upstairs and knocked on the door, a few times actually and no answer. The little girl tried to open the door and it was locked! She said my Mommy must be in the shower. I gave the kids a popsicle and put a little bandaid on the little boys knee and had to go back to work. I called my leasing office and explained the situation and they told me to call HRS. I called and they came out that day, she was all ready under investigation, and it doesn't seem like anything happened. The bahavior continued on for some time. However, our door was egged, patio trashed etc. from them because she guessed we were the ones who called. She was finally evicted. Anyway, all this to say I don't think that the authorities always do what needs to be done when it comes to the welfare of kids and abuse.
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