A pair of 8-year-old twin girls from Beijing drowned on August 5 while on a beach with their mother in the Huangdao District of Qingdao in east China's Shandong Province. The mother was reportedly using her mobile phone before realizing that the children were missing.
It is a devastating tragedy for the family in question, and it has once again underlined the importance of child protection.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, a global non-profit organization working to prevent childhood injuries through research, community outreach, legislative advocacy and media awareness campaigns, 98 percent of child injuries and deaths occur in developing countries. Every year around 200,000 children under 14 die of accidents in China, accounting for 26.1 percent of child mortality.
Parents and guardians have an inescapable responsibility for their children's safety. There have been frequent media reports about children drowning or being struck by vehicles while their parents are playing with their mobile phones. There have also been cases of parents leaving their children in cars, and in addition to injuries, a number of children are abducted every year as a result of negligence on the part of their parents.
While the improvement of medical services and hygiene has greatly reduced the mortality rate of children, parents' ability to take care of children does not seemed to have kept pace with progress elsewhere.
Guardians should take more precautions in the protection of minors. They should turn off their mobile phones and focus their whole attention on the safety and well-being of their children.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article originally published in Beijing Youth Daily on August 7)