Protecting our children must be our primary concern

One-month-old Kaiden Dacosta Greenidge never had a chance to walk, much less run.

And though his young mother and father may have already been actively dreaming of the type of young man they would have liked him to become, and of the sort of future they wanted him to have, those dreams are now totally shattered, due to his untimely death on Wednesday.

It was less than a month ago that his proud mother Petra first introduced baby Kaiden to the world as she posted two pictures on her Facebook page which simply screamed: “Welcome Baby Kaiden”, in what all expected at the time to be the first of many beautiful photos of mum and child as they moved through the exciting stages of life.

As fresh-faced mum posed with her sleeping Baby Kaiden in her arms behind a blue selfie board, one couldn’t help but wonder how soon he would be able to recite his own “a,b,c” and “1,2,3”; what would be his future profession; and what role he would in play in Barbados’ next 50 years.

But alas! This was either not to be, or yet another one of our society’s cruel man-made lessons.

Police are now probing the circumstances that led to the infant’s sudden and mysterious demise after he was dropped off by his parents at the Divine Day Nursery & Pre-School, St Stephen’s Hill, Black Rock, St Michael in seemingly fine condition on Wednesday morning, only to be pronounced dead mere hours later.

Like his father Silverson Greenidge we too would like to know exactly what went wrong.

What really happened to cause his “aunties” to raise an alarm? Why was one not raised sooner? Were there any early signs of crisis that were missed? And who really is at fault here?

Could anything have been done to save this sweet, innocent child from death? And indeed is there more to this tragic story than meets the eye?

Only God knows what truly occurred, and since baby Kaiden was never allowed to reach the stage where he could speak for himself, we may never ever get all of the answers.

Still this latest incident has left us feeling very uncomfortable with the role and functioning of the lead agency charged with protecting this island’s children.

Kaiden’s death serves as a bitter reminder of the harrowing deaths of 12-year-old Shamar Weekes and six-year-old Jahan King, which for all intents and purposes remain unsolved mysteries, even after several inquests, and, in King’s case, two arrests.

We are not saying for one minute that the Child Care Board will ever be in a position to know what happens behind every closed door, but, as has already been proven in both King and Weekes’ cases, countless warnings were ignored.

And while we await the outcome of Monday’s post mortem on Kaiden’s body, our hope is that CCB Director Joan Crawford will bring her entire team together in a huddle with a view to redoubling its efforts to ensure that no other Barbadian mother would have to bare the pain that was obvious when 21-year-old Petra Rouse posted on her Instagram page on Wednesday.

‘This is not right,” the young mother said at the time, adding that “No mother and father should have to bare this pain”.

We concur with those sentiments as we also call on the Child Care Board to update us on the investigations it launched earlier this year into the operations of a local day care.

Since then nothing has been said publicly of that probe, but Little Treasures has been allowed to remain open, just as Divine Nursery’s doors currently remain open, amid the Kaiden Greenidge death probe.

We do agree generally that one is innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law, but when it comes to our children, we proffer that it is better to be safe than sorry, and that protection of the innocent and vulnerable in this society must be our primary concern.

The state needs to do all within its power to ensure that is the case.

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