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Lack of supervision can be fatal to children

By Liang Yiwen and Hu Minghao (Shanghai Daily)

08:33, July 09, 2012

SUMMER vacation, the happiest period in a student's life, is very stressful to modern working parents, especially migrant workers who can't afford babysitters and don't have relatives close at hand.

The latest case involved two young brothers drowned in an unattended pond in suburban Minhang District over the weekend while their parents worked in a wholesale agricultural market.

The two went missing on Friday night and were found drowned in a pond by a local resident on Saturday morning.

The body of the little brother, 9, was found floating in the Chunshen Pond at 8am. The parents rushed to the site and the mother fainted. The father told firefighters the elder brother was also missing. Firefighters went back to search and they found his body not far away.

Though there is a warning sign near the pond, the water is not enclosed.

Lots of children swim in the pond, about 2 meters deep in the middle.

The father said heavy rain on Friday evening may have caused the tragedy.

The couple has been running a store in the nearby market for many years and they closed the store after the accident.

This is the city's second child-drowning case during this summer vacation.

On July 1, a 12-year-old boy snuck out of his house in Chongming County after his parents asked his sister to look after him since they were working. He jumped in a local river but struggled, and a friend, also a 12-year-old boy, plunged in to save him. Both drowned.

After the tragedy, the Shanghai Education Commission issued a safety alert, reminding parents to keep tabs on their children during the two-month break from school and urging the society at large to ensure a safe environment for kids with energy to burn.

"Summer is the peak time for student deaths from drowning and traffic accidents," the commission said, referring to the top two killers of young people.

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