Children’s Right to a Safe Environment


I would like to commend you on your excellent editorial, “Get Strict With Day-Care Rules” (April 8). The tragedy of the 14-month-old child who died and the other two toddlers who sustained irreversible brain damage as a result of access to a residential swimming pool is something those of us who are physicians far too often face.

What makes this type of event so tragic is that preventive measures are available. Two types of intervention are indicated: the implementation and enforcement of swimming pool ordinances requiring child-proof enclosure, and the availability of high-quality, licensed day care.

This tragedy serves to emphasize the need for municipalities to participate in the provision of safe, high-quality child care. This will dramatically decrease the risk of traumatic injury to our children.


The Irvine City Council has taken the lead and is the first city to support child-care services. Other cities should follow this innovative and creative approach. It is the right of children to be cared for in a safe environment.



Agran chairs the Accident Prevention and Poison Control Committee of Chapter IV of the American Academy of Pediatrics.