Tuesday, February 11, 2014

When Is A Photo More Important Than A Child's Life?




"Sir I know that it's a great photo but it is a high risk activity", I said to a father who was standing on the edge of the pool lining up a photo of his kids. 

It was a party and the only instant that we allow photography in the pool area. There were three young girls joyfully allowing a much younger child, a little boy, to roll them up in one or our floating mates.

Just as I finished speaking, I saw one of the little girls struggling to get out.

It was clear from were I stood that the child was no longer breathing air but her face was under water instead. 

I ran to the mat. Took the little boy by the hand. Drew him around and away from the mat.

When I let go, I saw him loose his balance and fall on his bottom. But he was safe. 

I immediately unrolled the mat and pick up the affected little girl that was still inside face down in the water and struggling for air.

The moment she was free of the water she took a big deep breath and screamed. 

I confirmed that the other two girls were alright and then took the child over to her mother. To my amazement the mother was engrossed in a conversation with another women and she was completely oblivious to the event. More than that, rather than comforting her child she just wanted to know what had happen and then sent her off with "oh don't be silly".

Unsurprisingly the child was not appeased with that.

What happen next caught me completely off guard. As I was walking away, talking on the radio to arrange reports etc. the father, who had been taking the photo, approached me. "Next time push the boy over harder why don't you" he said.

There are so many implications that can be draw from this but the one that troubles me the most is just how irrelevant the little girls life was in all this.

I understand that the parents had been caught out and that people don't react well when they are embarrassed. But to this day I cannot comprehend the attitude of these parents.

More to the point why was the photo so important in the first place that the children was not being watched?

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