Back in February U.S. News and World Report released its first-ever "Best States" report. On this list Louisiana ranked dead last.  According to the magazine, the study takes into account a state's health care and education, "its economy, the opportunity it offers people, its roads, bridges, internet and other infrastructure, its public safety and the integrity and health of state government."

The scorecard for our state isn't pretty.  Louisiana received low marks in individual rankings on crime and corrections (50th); opportunity (49th); education, economy and government (46th in each); health care (45th) and infrastructure (39th).

Today comes more horrible news that another child has drowned in a home swimming pool in our state.  It's the fourth drowning this year in Tangipahoa Parish.  According to the State Department of Health, Louisiana had the second highest rate of drownings in the nation from 2013 to 2015 with 71 children dying.

The tragedy is compounded by the fact that childhood drownings are preventable. In an interview with the Louisiana Radio Network, Mona Michelli with the state Department of Children and Family Services Division of Child Welfare recommends installing fences around home pools.  Fences should be equipped with a locked gate to keep kids out. She also advises parents to learn CPR and know the signs of drowning.

We who choose to live in the Shreveport/Bossier area know that we have a beautiful state inhabited by warm, wonderful people.  And though we may not be able to personally effect change in the areas in which Louisiana ranks lowest, this is one area in which we can all work to improve.


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