Thursday, July 3, 2008

Let Freedom Ring.... diary of a pediatric nurse

I thank God for our freedom and I wish every reader a Happy Fourth of July.....but from a pediatric critical care nurse's perspective this is not my favorite holiday.

We are a free society so we celebrate by letting our children play with fireworks....every July we see severe burns and hand and eye injuries from children playing with fireworks unsupervised.

We are a free society and our children can easily get their hands on guns and belong to gangs.....because we have the freedom to bear arms. I took care of a 4 year old last week now paralyzed by cross fire by a drive by shooting. Last night we admitted a 12 year old shot in the eye, now blinded, and a fifteen year old shot in the chest by a rival gang member. Last Monday, the nine year old shot over his bicycle, passed away quietly on Tuesday morning with a grieving mother at his bedside. And these kids are from all walks of life.

We are a free society and yet we sometimes fail to protect our children from preventable harm. Just today in the news were two toddlers locked in a cage in the back seat of a pickup truck so dad could work. I see infants every week who suffer brain trauma from the adults who should be protecting them but that same adult looses his or her cool and abuses the child as a form of discipline.

Accidents happen, even when great care is taken. But the abuse of our freedom by allowing children to shoot children, adults to abuse children, and children to participate in dangerous activities just because they are free to do so is not only irresponsible but a tragedy. As a society we should be outraged. Instead of complaining that our freedom and our rights are being infringed upon with laws and regulations regarding things like guns, fireworks, and parenting, we should embrace just a bit of this infringement as a way to protect the freedom of our children to keep safe.

I believe in freedom, in God, and I love my country and the people who live here. It just makes me sad when children are the victims of some of those freedoms. I thank God for the skills and compassion he has given me to care for these kids who so deserve to be free.

Celebrate this holiday in a safe manner and let Freedom ring. And remember the childen.....


Carma said...

Hi Terri, it is sad when people don't take responsibility for their freedom. Freedom isn't free is an old axiom but how many people really practice it.

Just because I am allowed to own a gun because I live in the USA does not mean I am a good risk. We have laws but I find that most people who commit these bad crimes and injustices to innocent young children do not obey the law. It is not a right to own a gun illegally or use it to commit a crime.

You have made a very good point. Adults who are supposed to be taking care of children are the worst offenders of our freedoms.


Lisa Kirby said...

Hi, Terri,

My heart goes out to these children that suffer because of the oversights and carelessness of adults.

I'm enraged and saddened when things like this happen. I don't know what it'll take to make people wake up. There are some people who just shouldn't be allowed to have children.

Our kids are a blessing and should be viewed as such. I pray that our laws change to protect those who can't protect themselves.

Take care, Terri,
Lisa Kirby

urbanintelligensia said...

Hi Terri, Shirley here, I'm finally catching up with all of the assignments. I read your freedom entry and I agree with everything that you have written. Personally, I'm against people owning guns because too many tragedies happen in the home due to guns. Just last year, we had a seven-year old boy die in his home by a gun. His young cousin accidentally shot him when they found the gun. Then, to add insult to injury, the family intially lied about what happened (they claimed it was a home invasion). The gun belonged to the boy's older brother who is a reputed gang member. Now, he's in jail and the mother faces charges for her lies. But the fact remains that a little boy is dead and nothing will change that. As for parental abuse, don't even get me started on that! The latest news is a woman who is in a custody battle with her ex-husband and their son is caught in the middle. But here's the kicker - the boy has cancer and the mother has been charged for allegedly withholding his cancer medication. The cancer had initially been in remission and he had a 85% survival rate. But now his cancer is back and his chances have dropped to 10%. The doctors arent holding out any hope for his survival. In my opinion, these examples and many others, illustrate that maybe we have TOO mush freedom in this country and that we need more regulations. People aren't being responsible and it's costing lives and devastating families. We as a society need to be responsible for each other and held more accountable for each other's safety. Let Freedom Ring...Happy 4th of July...Have fun...Be responsible!

Dorit Sasson said...

Our actions have direct consequences for our thoughts. Unfortunately those gaps for many families are still huge. people need to think about the bigger picture not just "how am I going to get through the day?" Unfortunately, our struggles for acquiring freedom of independence as so far away from their other inner struggles that you so bravely and warmly write about.

Thank you -
Happy fourth -
reaching out to build a community of teachers day by day

terri.forehand said...

Thank you all for the comments. It felt good to express my saddness and compassion in this way instead of looking the other way and ignoring the rising crisis we face in America. I believe our forefathers would also be saddened to see how society abuses the freedoms they fought so hard to attain.
Happy 4th
God Bless each and everyone of you, whom I consider friends.
Bootcamp is a wonderful thing.

Dorothy Massey said...

Here in the UK it is not legal to possess a gun, other than for the purpose of sport, yet we still have gun crime. Young people here carry knives and fatal stabbings make the news on a regular basis. Gangs of young people roam the streets drinking, getting high and terrorising the neighbourhood, and this is in quiet rural communities, not just the big cities. I blame the adults for this, the parents who don't care what the kids are up to, but also our society which turns a blind eye until something tragic happens. I understand your frustration Terri, and I share it. No matter how free we are we still have a responsibility to ourselves, to our society and above all to our kids. Unfortunately some are too busy being 'free' ie selfish to realise this.

Suzanne Lieurance said...

Hi, Terri,

Yes, freedom is a great thing. But along with it comes responsibility.

Unfortunately, many people want the freedom without the responsibility and often it is children who suffer as a result of this.

I wish everyone a safe and happy 4th.

Fireworks scare me to death. That's why I would much rather watch a professional display instead of handling them myself.

Take care.

Suzanne Lieurance
co-founder, Gutzy U
"Get Going! Get Gutzy!"

Donna McDine ~ Children's Author said...

Hi Terri...I echo everyone's comments. Watching a professional show is much better and safer. We didn't even go to see fireworks last night...rained here. Glad Boot Camp is going well!


Judy said...

Hi Terri,

Thanks for your thoughtful post. I wish those responsible for the shootings would consider the results of their rages. As for fireworks, they should be in the hands of professionals. I still hear them late at night around us and I can't help but be concerned.

Take care,