Tag Archives: child death

The death of James Bulger: a singular tragedy and a damaging landmark

One of the challenges of writing about the Bulger killing is confronting the enormity of what happened to James, and its catastrophic impact on his family. To hear the interview with James’s father Ralph Bulger on Radio Four yesterday morning is to hear a man driven to the very edge of self-destruction by the tragedy that befell him.

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After Newtown, a plea for perspective

In amongst all the words being written in the wake of the shocking shootings in Connecticut, I want to draw your attention to a calm, reasoned piece by my friend and fellow advocate for children’s freedoms, Lenore Skenazy. She reminds us how today’s media removes time and distance, and leaves us all helpless in the face of the raw pain of people we feel we know. “It feels like terrible things are happening to our children all the time, everywhere,” she writes. “Nowhere is safe.”

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When every parent’s worst nightmare comes true, how should we respond?

memorial candleThe terrible events that have been unfolding in Machynlleth force those of us who call for a more balanced approach to risk in childhood to take stock. How can we reconcile our views with the searing reality of such an apparently senseless act?

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After the death of a child, a coroner calls for a ban on popcorn. Is he right?

Any civilised society feels a collective wave of grief at the news of the death of a child. When that child has died from something as apparently innocuous as a piece of popcorn, our sense of tragedy is compounded. When we are in the presence of a family whose sense of loss we know to be overpowering, we can feel a correspondingly overwhelming urge to make things right again. To try to offer the bereaved the consolation that, while their own child may no longer be with them, at least no one else will suffer like they have.

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