Street Tales: Neglectful parents should be charged

Many years ago, there was a farm family out west of here that had several children.

That was at a time when not a lot of attention was paid to the safe storage of chemicals. Yes, they were stored up on a shelf mostly out of reach, but usually, there was no separate containment.

Even though the children were disciplined about staying safe for the most part, one of the young boys during play time went into the barn, and being curious, found a can with pictures on it, opened it up and proceeded to put some of the powder into his mouth and swallow some of it, before he came to the realization that lye really was not edible.

It burned his mouth, his throat, and even a small portion went into his lungs; something that he still suffers from today. It was so long ago, and I was quite young, so a lot of information was not given to us kids, except extra strong warnings about not to touch or even handle products we knew nothing about.

I do remember a lot of sympathy for the child, but also for the parents for the pain they were going through. Apologetic as they might have been, they were still subject to a lot of criticism for their unsafe handling of a poisonous chemical.

Then a few days ago, I read a headline on MSN News about two children taken to hospital for observation and possible treatment for ingesting cannabis candies. The kids as it turned out, are OK, but when they acted high, the parents got scared and phoned 911.

Two statements in the article really made me sit up and take notice.

First, was the statement that “it is not known how the candies got into the house.” Was it the parents who brought them in, or perhaps the kids got them elsewhere and brought them home?

However they got there, it shows that there was a lack of due diligence in the proper storage of them, wherever it was. If they were brought in by the parents, then the next statement is almost ridiculous. It read, “It is not known whether or not any charges should be laid in this case.”

For sure, the new Cannabis Act did not protect them, nor did their parents, and at this point, it is not known whether or not this will have any kind of lasting effect on the kids. On the surface probably not, but it reveals a problem that many people have predicted all along during this legalization process — that drugs would fall into the hands of children.

The Cannabis Act aside, exactly what did people expect when they promoted putting this substance into food products such as candies and cookies?

Furthermore, who would control the amount in each product? If my growing up years are any indication, anything that even remotely looked like a candy or another kind of sweet stood no chance of survival much beyond my noticing them.

The Pandora’s Box of drugs has just been opened, and already we are seeing some of the negative results, as well as the possible dangers. So, how do we respond?

I feel that if the parents brought these candies into the house, and the government is as dedicated to using the Cannabis Act as intended as they were about the legalization, then yes, for sure, they should be charged with child endangerment or some such charge.

How else will this garbage be kept out of the hands of children?

We knew it was coming, much like a speeding train — just not fully appreciating the potential danger. And now, sure enough, it just happened again.

Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.

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