Accident or not, where were the adults?

A 4-year-old child died Jan. 15 in Crawfordville, after a large piece of wooden furniture fell on top of him.

The child, Landon Greene, was at the home of his grandparents, Charles and Lavonne Green, when they heard a loud noise from a bedroom.

The victim was playing with a 5-year-old cousin when he attempted to climb the five-and-a-half foot tall dresser. When the grandmother heard a crash and arrived in the bedroom from the living room, she saw the child under the dresser, which was full of clothing.

The issue is not with the careless playing habits of the child, because he is just that, a child. The bigger issue is the endangerment of the welfare of a child, not only the victim, but his cousin as well.

No one is able to be in more than one place at a time, and it is not always easy to keep up with the whereabouts of children. But when parents put the welfare of their child in the hands of other relatives, not only are they gambling with having their trust broken, but also in extreme cases, such as this one, they have to plan for the negligence of that temporary guardian.

Another issue is parents letting anyone and everyone raise their children. Again, there are always extenuating circumstances and everyone has a story to tell, but who is going to tell the story of the neglected children? Where were the grandparents when this 4-year old attempted to climb a tall dresser?

The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System reported an estimated 1,740 child fatalities in 2008. This translates to a rate of 2.33 fatalities per 100,000 in the general population. NCANDS defines “child fatality” as the death of a child caused by an injury resulting from abuse or neglect, or where abuse or neglect was a contributing factor.

While the grandparents will be investigated following the child’s death, there are too many cases like this where the welfare of a child is left to an incompetent guardian and the ultimate result is death.

EMS officials rushed the child to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead approximately one hour later.

The unattended death has been ruled a tragic accident.