Tragedy In Virginia: Preventable Crib Death

There is an axiom that says no parent ever wants to bury a child.

A child is supposed to outlive his or her parents – it’s supposed to be the natural order of things. And a child death is even more tragic when the child doesn’t even have a chance to truly live.

The birth of a child is supposed to be one of the life-changing events of a parent’s life, and a changing moment in the life of the couple who have the duty to raise the child. The death of a child is never supposed to enter a parent’s mind, which makes it all the more tragic when a parent shirks responsibility for a child’s life by contributing to its death.

In Virginia, a recent case was splashed across national headlines because of a 9-month-old dying while being left in its crib for more than 16 hours without any parental oversight. Little Avarice Alexander never had a chance to live, and her parents – Adam and Jasmyne Alexander – are facing criminal charges in connection with the death.

While the actual cause of death is still being investigated, the case is confirmed that Avarice Alexande4r was placed in her crib at 8:30 p.n. one night, but was not checked on again until after 2 p.m. the following day. Soon after being placed in the crib on her back, she rolled over onto her front, where she was left while both parents drank until the early morning hours. The mother finally checked in on the child and noticed her not responding and was declared dead at the scene by emergency personnel.

Avarice was reportedly having trouble breathing, but there were no records of any hospital visits for several months prior to her passing.

The parents are charged with criminal child neglect and could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

This is a senseless death that could have been prevented. One can only imagine the grief these parents go through when they realize that one mistake costs their child her life. It is one thing to bury a child who dies form someone else’s hand; it’s entirely another when you, as the parent, could have prevented the death from occurring in the first place.

However, there is always the right to due process, so even the most negligent parents are granted the right to represent themselves and fight their charges. If there is a possibility that they may have just suffered enough by enduring the loss of a child rather than adding the insult of a criminal conviction, even anti-parents of the year deserve their day in court to fight for the right type of justice.

But certainly it doesn’t lessen the pain of loss.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.