So Sue Me

This is a repost.  I know I haven’t been blogging much lately and I have no excuse other than I just haven’t felt like it.  But I was thinking about this post the other day and since we’ve already had two of these this year I thought I’d give you your annual dose of serious depression.  Sorry about that.

No, actually I’m not.

Warning: This is NOT a humorous post. You will not come out of this one laughing, you probably won’t even be smiling.

About a year ago I walked down a hallway carrying a fourteen-month-old baby in my arms. A baby who would never get a day older. This sweet child was dead and I was taking his body to his mother.

It’s a sad story. The saddest part is that his death was totally preventable. He was run over by a family member in his own driveway. This man had simply not seen the child and backed his truck right over him.

I’m not trying to lay blame. If the glimpse I got of this man in the aftermath of this tragedy is any indicator, he’s laid enough blame on himself to last a lifetime. I’m just trying to… raise awareness, I guess.

Every spring and summer the company I work for, in conjunction with several other corporations in the area and across the country, runs a campaign called Spot the Tot. The idea is very simple. Walk all the way around your car before you back-out.

I know, you’re tired and harried and it’s hot and you’ve just buckled 87 children into various car-seats and boosters but it’s that 88th kid, that neighbor kid, that kid who came over because he heard your brood outside and he’s looking for someone to play with, who’s going to be where you just can’t see him.

If you’re lucky enough to be going somewhere without your children make sure that they didn’t follow you out for one more kiss before you drive off. (Also, if your children are anything like mine you might find that walking around your vehicle that one extra time saves you from running over a bike or scooter, or doll or what have you, more than once this summer.)

There are lots of other common injuries that I could warn you about. I could tell you not to let you underage kids ride four-wheelers alone but I’m afraid I’m fighting a losing battle on that one. I could tell you to be so so careful with your lawnmowers but I’m hoping none of my readers are dumb enough to let your kids ride on the engine block while you mow. (Yes, it happens. No, it’s not the only way kids get injured by mowers and you do still need to be careful because lawn mowers do not make for pretty injuries and they often result in amputations.) But these injuries are not as frequently fatal and to my mind the are somehow slightly less… tragic? Senseless? (I’m not sure what the word is and I’m not sure why I feel that way. I’m sure I wouldn’t if one of these others happened to my kid but there you have it anyway.)

I could tell you to get one of those safety-net things for your trampoline or better yet not to have one at all but the fact of the matter is, I think breaking an arm or two is almost a rite of passage for a kid.

It’s the things that stop passage that haunt me. Please, just be careful.

Happier posts to follow, I promise.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. LisAway
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 08:03:46

    Wow. That really is tragic. I’m walking around my car from now on before I go anywhere, you’d better believe. And thanks for the other warnings, too.

    Not a happy post, for sure, but a very good one. Also for sure.

  2. Annette
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 08:12:52

    I’m suddenly really glad that my kids are a bit older . . . and that we don’t have a riding mower. I can totally see them riding along.

  3. Jami
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 08:46:37

    Ow. My heart hurts.

  4. E
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 09:34:00

    Oh, she wasn’t talking about kids riding along on the riding mower (which is also probably a bad idea). She was talking about putting your kids on the engine block of the push mower.

    Whenever anyone pulls out of my driveway, I stand where I can watch to make sure no one is behind. But I’m not so good about walking around my own car. And I thought of you the other day when I ran over a scooter. I promise I’m going to be better all week (and then maybe it will turn into a habit).

  5. bythelbs
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 10:47:37

    This post is just as sad as the first time I read it. And over the past several months since I first read it, I’ve thought of it often as I’ve backed out of my driveway. So thanks for making me aware then and for the reminder now.

  6. Alison @ hairlinefracture
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 12:25:22

    Very good reminders even if it is sad to think about. I will take your warnings to heart.

  7. Jen
    Apr 29, 2009 @ 00:39:52

    Yikes. And just for the record, I think about this EVERY time I back out of my driveway. Sometimes thinking about these possiblities gives me anxiety. Thanks for the reminder.

    (And the depression. That was nice.)

  8. annie valentine
    Apr 29, 2009 @ 10:44:18

    I read the first two paragraphs. Can’t take any more than that…

  9. Melanie J
    May 04, 2009 @ 21:23:08

    Our condo complex has suddenly sprouted small children (kind of like toadstools) and it stresses me out that the only open place they have to play is the parking lot. The drivers are really careful from what I’ve seen but I worry so much because it takes only one driver one time to not pay attention and change several people’s lives irrevocably. Good reminder.

  10. Kristina
    May 09, 2009 @ 08:46:54

    Hey, you! I just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing.

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