Constant alertness needed

What could have been a tragic situation came to a happy conclusion Sunday, but it should give us all pause to think about child safety.

An 11-month-old child in the back seat of a pickup truck stolen from Calera was found alive and well the same day the truck was located abandoned in Brighton.

An Amber alert was quickly issued and law enforcement across many jurisdictions went looking for the vehicle and child. Fortunately, a citizen heard the child crying at a second gas station and notified medical personnel and law enforcement. We applaud the efforts of the Calera Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff&8217;s Office, FBI, State Troopers and others. We especially applaud the alert citizen who notified the authorities.

With crime on the rise, parents must always be alert. We are sure no one ever thought a pickup truck with a child in the back seat would be stolen. But tragic circumstances like this are always possible. We encourage parents to be ever vigilant and not leave children unattended in any circumstance.

We also encourage other citizens to pay attention to unusual circumstances such as a child being left unattended in a vehicle.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children & Families, children age 7 and under, &8220;should not be left alone for any period of time. This may include leaving children unattended in cars, playgrounds and backyards. The determining consideration would be the dangers in the environment and the ability of the caretaker to intervene.&8221;

The information was from &8220;Children Home Alone&8221; (2001), Fairfax County, Va., Fairfax County Department of Family Services, Child Supervision Guidelines.