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2-year-old girl drowns in irrigation ditch in Niigata

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A 2-year-old girl drowned after falling into an irrigation ditch in Niigata, police said Sunday.

According to police, Hibiki Sato wandered away from her home in Nishi Ward at around 3 p.m. Saturday. Fuji TV reported that her parents did not see her leave. When they noticed that she was missing, they searched the area with neighbors. Hibiki's body was found in an irrigation ditch at around 8 p.m., police said.

She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead from drowning, police said.

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AManInJapanMay. 11, 2014 - 05:39PM JST It's very easy to point the finger and blame her parents for not paying enough attention, but it's impossible to know the full story from this short article. Anything could have happened and you shouldn't judge. All that I can tell from this is that it's a tragic accident that will haunt her parents for the rest of their lives. RIP.

Exactly. The parents could have lain down with the child for a nap and then woken up a few minutes later to find the child gone, and then spent the next 5 hours searching. Or the father might have been taking out the trash while the mother was busy cooking and had her back turned, and the kid could have slipped out.

There could be a hundred reasons why this tragedy happened that don't require these to be bad parents, just human beings who aren't perfect. Only hindsight is perfect.

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I'm not intending 'we' blame anybody. We don't know the full story - only the parents do. If they really neglected the kid then they will be charged with that and brought to justice. It's great that you pay such close attention to your kids and this will be a lesson to others as well. The consequences of one mistake can be devastating.

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kimuzukashiiiiiMay. 11, 2014 - 07:30PM JST Are you saying we should NOT blame her parents for this? Who are you intending we blame - the 2 year old?? I know some might find this radical thinking, but IMO, if you have a child, then that child is YOUR responsibility. It means that you have to take care of them. Give them help if they need it, stop them from doing things that will hurt them.

Sometimes no-one is to blame. Sometimes accidents happen. The world isn't always fair or just. Bad things sometimes happen to good people. It may be difficult for you to accept, but being able to accept this is a sign of maturity.

The thing that every parent of a small child knows (or should know) is that you DONT leave them for a minute. You CANT turn your back for a second. Many other children are "runners" (including my youngest) and you just have to make adequate preparations for when they do (and they do) run off. Locking doors, not leaving your garden gate open, and (heaven forbid) actually being with your child. Its easy to keep them nearby.

Think about what you've just typed for a second. Every minute of every day for 2 years, that's 525,600 minutes, and you just need to slip up once for one minute and a child can die. That doesn't mean you were a bad parent, or that you weren't a perfectly attentive parent for the other 525,599 minutes. It just means you're human, and humans sometimes make mistakes.

Show a little human compassion for these parents. They're miserable enough already without you adding to their misery if they read your posts.

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wontondMay. 12, 2014 - 12:51AM JST Sorry, but I disagree. Briefly losing the toddler from sight while in the house in understandable, but providing the conditions so the toddler can leave the house is negligence. Remember, we're talking about a 2 year-old here. They don't even have the motor skills and mobility as even someone only twice their age. It's not that difficult to lock a door and close a window, to prevent them from leaving the house. I know this will be a very unpopular statement, but I see these "accidents" that are so easily preventable, and I wonder if they were accidents at all.

Look around your apartment. Do you have screen doors? A 2 year old could open those. Have you accidentally left the toilet seat up? A 2 year old could drown in there. Have you left anything plugged in? A 2 year old could pull it out and stick their fingers in. Are there any objects on any shelf or on the floor smaller than a tennis ball? Those are all choking hazards (and they'll try their hardest to fit the tennis ball in their mouth too!). Anything glass within a toddler's reach? They could break them, cut themselves and bleed out in under 60 seconds. Any sharp corners? They've probably already run into them a half dozen times and could have sustained a fatal injury. Any blunt corners? Same deal, blunt trauma or sharp trauma doesn't matter if they run hard enough, they can both cause intracranial bleeding. Door knobs? They're forehead height for a 2 year old. Any soap, bleach, or any other cleaning supplies? They could drink them and die. Anything they could step on or climb to reach shelves you thought were safely out of reach? They'll drag stuff right across the house to use as a ramp if something looks interesting....

The list of hazards in even the most carefully child-proofed apartment are endless. I spent a month before the birth literally on my hands and knees finding every nook and cranny where an injury could occur and I still missed a few things because honestly it never occurred to me that a toddler would actually pick up and BITE an electrical cable... I now know better, but if it wasn't for my reflexes and constant vigilance that might have been a fatal accident, and it happened not in minutes, but in less than 5 seconds.

I've been careful and lucky, but these parents weren't. It is very easy to sit in your armchair at your computer and blame them, but if you're a parent and you're honest you'll run through just a single day in your mind and realise that there were at least a dozen times every day when the unthinkable could have happened. When they slipped their hand out of yours in the parking lot, when they stepped onto that grate and you didn't check to see all the grates were properly aligned, when they picked up something from the ground and stuck it in their mouth, when they fell against the screen door, when they came up to stand next to you when you were cooking with a hot pan and you could have slipped...

It is hard for some people to grasp that preparedness and caution can only take you so far. It is so common that it actually has a name, "Just world fallacy", the belief that bad things only happen to bad people. Sometimes bad things happen to good people.

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It's very easy to point the finger and blame her parents for not paying enough attention, but it's impossible to know the full story from this short article. Anything could have happened and you shouldn't judge. All that I can tell from this is that it's a tragic accident that will haunt her parents for the rest of their lives. RIP.

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Im sorry, but I have a few kids, and I have never had one wander off and drown in a ditch. And Ive done the vast majority of parenting alone. This is not just a little mistake on behalf of the parents - I hope they are prosecuted for not paying attention to their child. It is the job of the parents

Congratulations for being a great dad/mom. But like other readers posted above, possibilities to what could have happened are endless. There's no point pointing fingers and wishing the parents get prosecuted.

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RIP young girl.

Her parents will have to live with this for the rest of their lives.

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This is a difficult one. I can tell that if the child had died while under the watch of a babysitter the J-police certainly would have charged the sitter with professional negligence or something, would have to do some time in a striped jumpsuit and be forever in debt to the family, even if all the other facts in the case were exactly the same.

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That Really Sucks: I am from Florida. ANYWhere in Florida, you will hear of kids of ALL ages drowning due to this sort of occurance. Your kid will DISAPPEAR in the BLINK of an eye. Not only from Drowning unfortunately. DROWNING is a major cause of fatalities for youngsters in Florida. TEACH your Kid to SWIM, Properly, at a YOUNG AGE. I found myself living in the perfect place when my daughter was young, an apartment complex, and took her swimming at LEAST five times a week, she LOVED every minute of it, and could swim by herself by age THREE. I'm SURE others on here have done this, TEACH your Kid to SWIM. I taught her for this VERY reason. and I am NOT A Swimming Instructor. RIP Little one.

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@ Frungy Do you seriously think a 2 year-old could reach the latch to open a screen door, and then have the motor skill to even open the latch? That's one of the things they were designed to prevent. I wouldn't even leave it up to just the screen to prevent my child from escaping. I would close the window or the door. What I question is not only did these parents not know where there child was, but how long was it before they even realized she was missing? The article said she wandered off at 3pm. How does anyone know this if they didn't see her leave?

The other points you list are laughable in their extreme. Any one of those things happen, and the parent will definitely hear it and act to deal with it. For the record, my toilet seat is always down (more of a germ thing I have), I don't even buy a gift for the 5 year-old with small parts, for fear her 2 year-old brother may put it in his mouth. I cover all electrical outlets, so little curious fingers can't find their way in. I have stair guards, so they don't take a tumble and I child proof my drawers and cabinets so they can't get into them.

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Yes this was an accident, but a kid this age should not be left unsupervised, RIP little one

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Alternatively they could just fall against it or push on it until it falls out of the runners it is mounted on, or they could push against a small tear in the mesh and push their way out.

You have identified two very plausible situations. I agree this could easily happen. The solution seems pretty obvious to me. Close the window or door.

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I'm wondering just how much time elapsed between her going missing and get parents realizing she was gone.

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Once again, the "whole story" is that they weren't paying attention to their child (for whatever reason you may find forgivable or excusable) and now she's dead.

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@kimuzukashiiiii

The definition of an accident is an UNPLANNED event in the case of the little girl leaving home and without her parents knowing is an unplanned event. You could can get in your car strap you own child in the child car seat and run into the same ditch and you survive but your child dies from the injuries. Now ask yourself did you try to kill your child even though you put the child in seat belts and lets say a baby seat you thought of all the posible ways to keep you and your child safe but unfortunately this accident occurred. I agree with Frungy on this one no matter how much you try to prevent accidents from happening a accident will happen. Please show some compassion for the little girls family they dont need the cyber bashing as its already being reported in the papers.

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RIP little girl.

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It wasn't a ditch in the sense that many people here are imagining. It was a concrete-sided irrigation channel by the side of the road, deep and fast-flowing at this time of year, supplying river water to the rice fields. Once you have fallen in, it would be difficult to find a foothold or handhold to get out. The news often reports adults falling in and getting swept away in such culverts. Farming communities everywhere are criss-crossed with these channels/culverts/sluices and it would be impossible to patrol them all. Children playing in groups do generally look out for each other, and in the olden days people working in the fields would watch out for everyone's children. Such a sad accident.

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The parents could have lain down with the child for a nap and then woken up a few minutes later to find the child gone, and then spent the next 5 hours searching. Or the father might have been taking out the trash while the mother was busy cooking and had her back turned, and the kid could have slipped out.

There could be a hundred reasons why this tragedy happened that don't require these to be bad parents,

Sorry, but I disagree. Briefly losing the toddler from sight while in the house in understandable, but providing the conditions so the toddler can leave the house is negligence. Remember, we're talking about a 2 year-old here. They don't even have the motor skills and mobility as even someone only twice their age. It's not that difficult to lock a door and close a window, to prevent them from leaving the house. I know this will be a very unpopular statement, but I see these "accidents" that are so easily preventable, and I wonder if they were accidents at all.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

wontondMay. 12, 2014 - 04:16AM JST @ Frungy Do you seriously think a 2 year-old could reach the latch to open a screen door, and then have the motor skill to even open the latch? That's one of the things they were designed to prevent. I wouldn't even leave it up to just the screen to prevent my child from escaping. I would close the window or the door.

Well there you are making an assumption, that the 2 year-old will use the latch. Alternatively they could just fall against it or push on it until it falls out of the runners it is mounted on, or they could push against a small tear in the mesh and push their way out. I've seen a 2 year-old using the "push until it falls out" trick before (not mine, someone else's), and it is not only possible, but it was clear this was a favorite game.

You were very certain in your assertion that it would be impossible, but I've just shown you two ways it could happen. Perhaps now you'll rethink your position.

What I question is not only did these parents not know where there child was, but how long was it before they even realized she was missing? The article said she wandered off at 3pm. How does anyone know this if they didn't see her leave?

Well, the simplest answer is that they were paying close attention, noticed the child wasn't where she was supposed to be very quickly, searched the house and noted the time. You don't have to see the child wandering off, that is the time they noted the absence.

The other points you list are laughable in their extreme. Any one of those things happen, and the parent will definitely hear it and act to deal with it.

You may hear it, you may even see it happening, but that doesn't mean you can save your child's life at that point. Taking the chocking example. You drop a cherry tomato while making lunch and the toddler slips it into their mouth and swallows. The hard stalk penetrates the lining of the throat, aggravating the throat lining and causing swelling as well as causing blood to flow into the lungs and making the normal first aid techniques ineffective. By the time the paramedics arrive the child is dead. Not so "laughable" now. I actually saw a case similar to this. I can happen.

For the record, my toilet seat is always down (more of a germ thing I have), I don't even buy a gift for the 5 year-old with small parts, for fear her 2 year-old brother may put it in his mouth. I cover all electrical outlets, so little curious fingers can't find their way in. I have stair guards, so they don't take a tumble and I child proof my drawers and cabinets so they can't get into them.

But you think that these things make you invulnerable to misfortune. You're mistaken. These parents suffered a horrible tragedy, and I sincerely hope that you never suffer anything similar, but it can happen to even the most careful parents.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Carey-

My turn, how about ditch may have been one foot outside the door the girl went out of

The ditch was about 200 meters away from home. J-news says that her older brother was outside playing so this little girl might have gone out looking for her brother.

I agree with some of the posters here that it is simply impossible to keep your eyes on little ones ALL the time. Having said that, it's important to make sure your little ones do not go outside without you. There is a huge difference between (a) making sure that your little ones are safe and (b) keeping your eyes on all the time.

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My turn, how about ditch may have been one foot outside the door the girl went out of.

I don't think it would have taken hours to find her if that was the case.

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Frungy and tmarie, please stop going around in circles.

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My parents used to tell anyone who would listen how I used to drop my diaper like a bad habit and run down the street when my mom wasn't looking. Fortunately (for me) we didn't live on a main thoroughfare. I don't care WHO you are, you can't watch the child continuously and there's always something to distract you (phone calls, cooking, cleaning) from keeping absolute watch over your child. Gates and such will work to keep the child out of mischief... until they've watched you often enough to know how to climb over/operate them. All it takes is one surprise escape to end in tragedy. I feel sorry for the parent's loss, but I won't condemn them based on the sparse information given in this article.

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Nobody can judge anybody if we don't have the complete details of what happened.

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japanese news said the little girl might have gone out looking for her older brothers who were playing outside.. i hope the brothers won't feel they are somehow responsible for this.. and hope this incident will not tear the family apart. RIP little angel.

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japanese news said the little girl might have gone out looking for her older brothers who were playing outside

Yes. this report also says that the 2 year old girl's brothers were playing outside and that the police are investigating whether she might have fallen into irrigation canal when she went out of the house to look for them. I'm not sure how the police plan on making such a determination, though.

響ちゃんの兄弟が外で遊んでいたということで、警察は、兄弟を捜しに行って誤って転落したのではないかとみて調べています。

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20140510/k10014356241000.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In a previous post you were surprised that a screen door could be opened by a 2 year old in a way you didn't expect,

Actually, Japanese screen doors tend to fall over if you look at them funny, so it would not even take a 2 year old to open them. I did not realize how flimsy they were until I used screen doors overseas where they actually stay on the runners when you open and close them, or breath on them. Message to people reading is do not trust a screen door to keep anything in or out.

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Not another one....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@ kimuzukashiiiii - I'm with you on this one. I've said this before, the safety of your children should be your utmost concern. Not taking out the trash, not cooking dinner, and not your nap. One or both of the parents made poor choices about their priorities, that's what caused this tragedy.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I agree with what many are saying - that this was a tragic accident. It is completely unrealistic to think that you will never ever turn your back on your child for even a second for the whole first years of their life. People do it all day every day and in virtually every case nothing happens.

However - when I turned my back on my toddlers to do the cooking or whatever, they couldnt get out of the house because they couldnt reach the door lock to open the door. So it sounds like the fact that this little girl was able to get out and go walkabout was because the house wasnt secure. A mistake they will now have to live with for the rest of their lives. Dont envy them that and Im sure there is nothing anyone can say on here that will punish them worse than they are already punishing themselves.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Frungy, if the child has drown in the toilet, I think people wouldn't be so up in arms. The fact that a TWO year old can wander awat from her parents and drown in a ditch is clearly not the same thing. Two years old need to be constantly watched. Yes, it is not possible to do that 100% of the time so parents should take measures to ensure the sfaety of their child when they can't - as in child locks, doors shut, dangerous things out of the way... The fact that this child managed to get out of the house and drown in a ditch says a lot about the parents. The child was TWO, not ten.

Frankly, I want parents charged. As someone said, if this was a babysitter, they'd be held accountable. Why are parents never held accountable here? Perhaps if they were, more might take better care of their kids.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Again JT commenters speculating what happened. My turn, how about ditch may have been one foot outside the door the girl went out of. You people have no idea what happened here so let's give benefit of the doubt that it was a god damned mistake and stop with always screaming that Japan 'Jails the parents'. That rhetoric posted here is so predictable it happens everytime a child dies and is reported.

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@Frungy

The child wandered off and drowned while in her parents care. Unless the parents had suffered some medical emergency which rendered them incapable, or unless their was a negligent or malicious third party, the stark fact is that they are culpable. But of course that doesn't mean we can't feel empathy or sympathy for them. They must be totally mortified. It's the worst thing that can happen to a parent. I'm terrified that one day due to some carelessness on my part my child might come to harm. If that came to pass, I'd certainly blame myself and would expect to be charged.

In Japan I've noticed that many people don't seem to be able to assess risk, either for themselves or for others. One of my apartments was brand new and on the top floor of a block... with no guard railings on the roof garden. Any toddler that found their way up there would almost certainly die. No risk assessment at all by the architect or builders. I see kids running around in car parks, riding their bicycles at high speed through minor junctions, playing in kitchens where they can reach pots of boiling liquid.... People seem oblivious to risk. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this unfortunate child was in the habit of playing alone in her garden/yard.... I've seen it with some Japanese acquaintances in Gunma. I think it's very likely that the parents were negligent, but perhaps no worse than many other parents in Japan- which means that we'll probably see many more sad cases like this.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I was kind of torn on this one, but I'm not that torn any more. The parents do indeed take at least part of the blame. I've been to many-a-friend's house, who have infants and/or toddlers, and I see things stacked on balconies, ZERO safety plugs in electric outlets, sharp things easily within reach, and doors unlocked. I HAVE on occasion seen the fence-like things you put up at the top of a stairwell once or twice, but that's about it. Are there no locks on the doors of this house? There should have been child safety locks for exactly this type of reason.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This a tragedy. The parents are going to have to live with this for the rest of their lives and I feel terrible for them because of that. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they loved their daughter and didn't want her to die. Having said all that, it is still their fault. As parents, it is your job to do all that is within reason to protect your child. No doubt that's hard to hear and sounds harsh but this idea that it was "just an accident" helps no one. I'm not saying the parents should be punished but the reality that raising babies and toddlers is exhausting and requires constant supervision because of what can happen is exactly the sort of thing new/young/careless parents need to hear. Two-year olds are not yet capable of navigating the world safely and you do them no favors by having a lackadaisical attitude about their whereabouts. As difficult as it is for one parent to constantly keep an eye on them, there were two parents here. Let them roam, try out new things, fall and get cut - at the appropriate age! At 2, watch them! I don't care how hard it is. They are your responsibility. So, yes, I feel for these parents but it is their fault. It would be unnecessarily cruel to say that to their faces but the reality is that they already know that and so do we.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

tmarieMay. 12, 2014 - 04:25PM JST That could be the case but the issue is, a TWO year old child was able to get out her house and drown as a result. You're right, it doesn't matter that if she was found one meter or 200. What matters is that this child was clearly not paid attention to and proper measures taken to prevent her "escape". You know that doors have locks, right? YOu know that they have child proof locks, rights?

And you do know that I just posted that screen doors can be bypassed by a sufficiently determined child, and this being spring it was likely that the parents had the doors open and the screen doors up, and believed the screen doors safe. That's a possible explanation that you haven't considered, perhaps because you're so intent on seeing these parents as negligent that your mind can't even contemplate any possibility that they were just unlucky.

How is there no proof the parents were negligent? There child is dead because she got out of a house with not one, but TWO parents home at the time. What alternative explanations? Are you suggesting the child was kidnapped? What?

Let's try this on for size: The kid lies down with mommy for an afternoon nap. Mommy and kiddy are fast asleep. The father looks in on them from time to time, but is also catching up with household chores like washing clothes so their kid doesn't have to walk around naked. The father checks in on the sleepers, and then goes to empty the washing machine, comes back and hangs up the clothes. He then pokes his head around the door again and notices that the kid is missing and the screen door is ajar, pushed off its track and out a bit. He rushes outside but can't see the kid anywhere... the rest is history.

There's a perfectly plausible narrative where two responsible parents who did nothing wrong lose their child to a tragic accident.

No, I think many parents on here are well aware of making mistakes hence why they know they need to watch their kids like a hawk. Anyone who thinks they can allow a two year old child to roam around the house and they'll be safe has no business having kids.

Yes, you need to watch your kids like hawks. Where you cross the line from common sense to utterly ridiculous is in insisting that parents never make mistakes, never need to sleep, and never make an incorrect assumption about the safety of something like a screen door.

I agree nothing compares to the lose of a child but why not start making sure parents know they will be held responsible for the safety of their kids so parents step up and do just that? How is a babysitter any different in such cases when they get charged? Negligence is negligence regards of who gave birth of shares the DNA. Would you agree to allowing babysitterm, teachers and daycare workers the same get out of jail free card? Why is it when a kid offs himself people demand teachers take the blame and yet here you are saying nope, they've been punished enough?

I wouldn't hold a teacher or babysitter guilty without any evidence of wrongdoing either. That seems to be the difference here, that you're leaping to the assumption of guilt without any evidence, whereas I'm prepared to contemplate situations where these parents aren't guilty. I'm not saying for certain they aren't guilty, merely that I don't have any reason to believe them guilty yet and my default position in the absence of evidence is innocence.

I'm "attacking" them because I am sick and tired of reading about kids dying because their parents couldn't be bothered to have to sense and look after their kids or ensure that the home was safe enough that silly accidents, preventable accidents, don't happen. You have no idea if child services could have prevented this. For all you know, they've been called because the parents don't look after the kids well.

I'm glad you admit that your bias here has more to do with your out of control emotions than with these parents doing anything wrong, and that you admit you have no proof of any wrongdoing. Sadly your tone makes it clear that you somehow view this as my fault for daring to question your biased account.

I WIL spew generalizations because I see questionable parenting here every damn day and the kids here deserve better. Who said the parents are evil? I certainly didn't. Being clueless and irresponsible doesn't make one evil.

Well if they aren't evil and there's no criminal intent then there's no crime. Being clueless isn't a crime, or you'd be in prison right now.

I might turn around and suggest that you constantly defendig parents has to do with your guilt of some sort? Though that would be silly of me to say as I don't know you from Adam just as you don't know me from Eve. How many kids here have to get run over, drown, fall off balconies because folks like you wake up and hold the parents responsible for these precentable deaths?

Show me evidence that this was a preventable death, forseeable by a reasonably observant and attentive parent and I'd be 200% behind educating other parents about taking precautions. Ranting about how these parents are "clueless and irresponsible" when you don't even have the smallest scrap of proof about either position just makes you look like a frothing at the mouth lunatic who is desperate to punish people who are undoubtedly going through the worst time of their lives.

In short it makes you look like an inhuman monster who is incapable of any real empathy and definitely not someone who should under any circumstances be giving anyone advice about child rearing.

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@ Frungy You miss my point. The parents are negligent for not properly securing the door or window. As per my previous post...

I wouldn't even leave it up to just the screen to prevent my child from escaping. I would close the window or the door.

I may not be omniscient, but I'm quite certain I wouldn't be out-witted by a 2 year-old. Unfortunately, I don't think you can say the same. I weep for you and your offspring. I'm done with you now.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

wontondMay. 12, 2014 - 11:33PM JST @ Frungy You miss my point. The parents are negligent for not properly securing the door or window. As per my previous post...

I may not be omniscient, but I'm quite certain I wouldn't be out-witted by a 2 year-old. Unfortunately, I don't think you can say the same. I weep for you and your offspring. I'm done with you now.

In a previous post you were surprised that a screen door could be opened by a 2 year old in a way you didn't expect, so clearly you have already been outwitted by a 2 year old. You know where that puts your offspring? In a worse place than mine.

There is no evidence these parents didn't take all reasonable precautions. Your assertions to the contrary are speculative and slanderous.

Now I'm done with you.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

wontondMay. 12, 2014 - 12:05PM JST You have identified two very plausible situations. I agree this could easily happen. The solution seems pretty obvious to me. Close the window or door.

You miss the point. Up until now you've been insisting that a screen door was completely secure, but now you admit they're not as secure as you initially believed. Now imagine you're one of these parents, you think your child is secure... right up until you find them missing.

You're precisely as guilty as these parents, you're guilty of not being an omniscient, omnipotent god capable of controlling everything and everyone. Congratulations, and welcome to reality.

tmarieMay. 12, 2014 - 01:22PM JST I don't think it would have taken hours to find her if that was the case.

But it took hours to find her 200m from the house, so clearly you're mistaken.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Clearly I am not as there is a huge difference (200 meters of difference actually) between reality and the example given.

Frungy, I'm not sure why but you always plead the case of the parents when in most cases, the parents are responsible for the death of a child. If people can't or don't want the responsibilty of taking care of kids, they shouldn't have them. I think many parents here are VERY lax when it comes to looking out for and being responsible for their kids. So many needless deaths could be easily prevented with a little more education and awareness. Then again, why people have kids and aren't aware of the work involved is beyond me. Everyday I see parents doing things - no seat belts, not holding their kids' hands in parking lots, kids playing on the street, young kids out alone, kids running all over shops, mom on her phone while she should be looking after and watching Jr., kids being left outside as punishment - that in my country would equal child services being called or heavy fines being given out. Japan fails the kids here by not demanding better care be given and holding their parents more responsible.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

tmarieMay. 12, 2014 - 03:15PM JST Clearly I am not as there is a huge difference (200 meters of difference actually) between reality and the example given.

The child could have fallen into the ditch just outside the apartment and the body drifted down on the water 200 meters to where it was found in 5 hours. These ditches are flooded on a daily basis to fill the rice fields.

But the real problem is that it just takes a minute to walk 200m from the apartment, which means that they only thought to check the ditches much later, so it doesn't matter if the body was found 1 m from the apartment of 200m, the key is that they only started to check the ditches later.

Frungy, I'm not sure why but you always plead the case of the parents when in most cases, the parents are responsible for the death of a child.

I plead the case of the parents because:

There's no proof the parents were negligent in this case.

There are alternative explanations that are equally, or even more, plausible that should be presented, rather than just leaping to the equivalent of "the butler did it".

There seem to be far too many self-righteous arm-chair parents who are convinced they'd never make mistake... which tends to blind them to the multitude of very real dangers surrounding them and their children.

Finally, because these parents have already been punished in the worst possible way I can imagine. You talk about fines and prison time, but if I was one of these parents I wouldn't care, because nothing could compare with the loss of my child.

These are the reasons that I defend the parents. What are your reasons for attacking them? And don't reply that it is to prevent further such accidents, because fines and child services wouldn't have stopped this accident from happening. Don't spew generalities about bad parents in Japan, I want to know why SPECIFICALLY in this case you are so eager to believe these PARTICULAR parents are evil. I suspect that if you take a long hard look at yourself you'll find the reasons have more to do with your fear of your children suffering an accident and your desire to deny such a possibility than they do with any real guilt on the part of these parents.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The child could have fallen into the ditch just outside the apartment and the body drifted down on the water 200 meters to where it was found in 5 hours. These ditches are flooded on a daily basis to fill the rice fields.

That could be the case but the issue is, a TWO year old child was able to get out her house and drown as a result. You're right, it doesn't matter that if she was found one meter or 200. What matters is that this child was clearly not paid attention to and proper measures taken to prevent her "escape". You know that doors have locks, right? YOu know that they have child proof locks, rights?

How is there no proof the parents were negligent? There child is dead because she got out of a house with not one, but TWO parents home at the time.

What alternative explanations? Are you suggesting the child was kidnapped? What?

No, I think many parents on here are well aware of making mistakes hence why they know they need to watch their kids like a hawk. Anyone who thinks they can allow a two year old child to roam around the house and they'll be safe has no business having kids.

I agree nothing compares to the lose of a child but why not start making sure parents know they will be held responsible for the safety of their kids so parents step up and do just that? How is a babysitter any different in such cases when they get charged? Negligence is negligence regards of who gave birth of shares the DNA. Would you agree to allowing babysitterm, teachers and daycare workers the same get out of jail free card? Why is it when a kid offs himself people demand teachers take the blame and yet here you are saying nope, they've been punished enough?

I'm "attacking" them because I am sick and tired of reading about kids dying because their parents couldn't be bothered to have to sense and look after their kids or ensure that the home was safe enough that silly accidents, preventable accidents, don't happen. You have no idea if child services could have prevented this. For all you know, they've been called because the parents don't look after the kids well.

I WIL spew generalizations because I see questionable parenting here every damn day and the kids here deserve better. Who said the parents are evil? I certainly didn't. Being clueless and irresponsible doesn't make one evil.

I might turn around and suggest that you constantly defendig parents has to do with your guilt of some sort? Though that would be silly of me to say as I don't know you from Adam just as you don't know me from Eve. How many kids here have to get run over, drown, fall off balconies because folks like you wake up and hold the parents responsible for these precentable deaths?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

taiko666May. 12, 2014 - 09:54PM JST I'm terrified that one day due to some carelessness on my part my child might come to harm. If that came to pass, I'd certainly blame myself and would expect to be charged.

Prove there was carelessness on the part of these parents, then you might have a reason for your comments. Until then you're just making vile and slanderous accusations against parents who are in tremendous pain.

Kids will get hurt. It is impossible for any parent to successfully stop every single slip off a slide, fall off a chair, trip getting out of the bath, splash of hot oil. Many of these have, with bad luck, the potential to be fatal. A fall of just 30cm can result in death. If the world was run the way you and others here propose, where every parent who didn't hover within centimeters of their child every moment of every day from birth until adulthood was regarded as "careless" and was charged for the injury... well, there would be no parents. Find me a child who's never had a scratch (which could with very bad luck result in a fatal infection, or lockjaw, or a dozen other fatal conditions), or a bruise (which could cause a blood clot resulting in a stroke or heart attack)... because there are none, or at least none who had a childhood worth living.

You and others here are being ridiculous, in the name of slandering a couple who we have no evidence did anything wrong.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It's very easy to point the finger and blame her parents for not paying enough attention, but it's impossible to know the full story from this short article.

It is possible to know the full story. They were both not paying any attention to their kid, and she managed to get out of the house, fall into a irrigation ditch and die. THAT is the full story. The reasons why they wern't looking after her properly are irrelevant. Whether it was for a minute (very unlikely) or an hour (more likely) is irrelevant.

Are you saying we should NOT blame her parents for this? Who are you intending we blame - the 2 year old?? I know some might find this radical thinking, but IMO, if you have a child, then that child is YOUR responsibility. It means that you have to take care of them. Give them help if they need it, stop them from doing things that will hurt them.

The thing that every parent of a small child knows (or should know) is that you DONT leave them for a minute. You CANT turn your back for a second. Many other children are "runners" (including my youngest) and you just have to make adequate preparations for when they do (and they do) run off. Locking doors, not leaving your garden gate open, and (heaven forbid) actually being with your child. Its easy to keep them nearby.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

parents? Plural? what the heck were they both doing that they didn't bother checking where their child was?! This is complete negligence. Completely avoidable.

Im sorry, but I have a few kids, and I have never had one wander off and drown in a ditch. And Ive done the vast majority of parenting alone. This is not just a little mistake on behalf of the parents - I hope they are prosecuted for not paying attention to their child. It is the job of the parents.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

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