As the majority of our kids return to school today, spare a thought for those who will not be making it.
As we adults deal with the worries of uncertain times and job insecurity, we must not forget to address the mental health and physical safety of our kids.
I was terribly saddened to hear about all the child deaths over the past few days.
In the Free State last week, seven children drowned when the car they were travelling in was swept away by a flooded river.
The driver of the car also drowned while trying to rescue them.
The kids were all under the age of 13, with the youngest two being four and six years old.
Later on the same day, a five-year-old also drowned in a flooded river nearby.
Another raging river in Mpumalanga claimed the life of a one-year-old child, who was swept out of the arms of her mother, who was trying to cross the river.
Later in the week, the burnt bodies of two young girls were found in an abandoned building in Atteridgeville, Pretoria.
And then, of course, there was the terrible tragedy that unfolded right here in Cape Town - on an open field, alongside the N2, near the airport.
Four boys from Nyanga were digging a hole on the embankment, when the walls of the hole collapsed on them.
It’s believed they all drowned or suffocated inside the hole and it took emergency workers until the next morning to retrieve all the bodies.
I can’t imagine a worse tragedy than for a parent to lose a child.
But it should be a tragedy that shakes all of society, not just the affected families.
And while our sympathies must without a doubt be with the 15 families who lost their children in just this one week, we as a country need to also take stock of our own responsibility to keep all our children safe.
I appreciate that these times are forcing us into self-preservation, but “self” shouldn’t translate into selfish, where we think only of ourselves.
The fact that, in this day and age, some of our children have to play on the side of a busy highway and others are forced to cross a raging river, should bother us enough to do something about it, before tragedy strikes.