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Just Another Headline

You feel so empowered the first time a news reporter contacts you to share your tragic story publicly.

After losing your child, you feel this complete emptiness and walk around in a state of shock trying to figure out what happened, why it happened, and what can you do so no one else has to ever feel the way you do. Then someone gently reaches out to you. These days it‘s typically through Facebook or Instagram. They’ll introduce themselves kindly and talk about how they work for so and so network or news outlet and they would love to bring awareness to whatever caused the tragedy in your life.

It is painful to think about telling a stranger the details that led up to your child’s death, but you find strength in knowing that maybe if more people, more parents, were aware of what happened in your life, that maybe, somehow, the future will be changed and no one else has to feel the deep aching pain that you have.

Family and friends tell you how brave you are for speaking up and raising awareness. You find purpose in it and for brief moments during the day, you can find some solace knowing that you’re turning this tragedy into something positive.

The article prints or the story runs on the evening news. People are shocked. People are sad. People reach out to you to share their condolences.

But how long is a news cycle?

Typically people think of it as 24 hours until another days worth of news is ready to be reported. With social media, news headlines can be posted and forgotten in hours. If it doesn’t have the right “tags” or fall into the newsfeeds of the right people, even a well written article may not generate a lot of cyber movement.

Then it’s over.

People go back to their “normal“ lives while yours will never be normal again. There is typically a small group of family and friends who keep the reminders coming. Don’t drink and drive. Put a fence around your pool. Lock up your medications. Secure any button batteries in your home.

Hearing about near misses and almost tragedies remind you that your loss was not for nothing. You’re grateful that someone else’s child was spared.

But then you see another headline.

What? How could this be? How can another child be hurt? I thought the message was out there. Didn’t everyone hear what I was saying? Why is that thing still being sold? Why would people still take those chances? Why is there another headline talking about a tragedy so similar to mine?

It breaks my heart to wonder how many more children need to get hurt before we start seeing a decrease in cases. When will the danger become so obvious that it becomes common sense?

How many more headlines do we need to see?

Sign this petition. Please. Then share it.

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