Imagine you're watching your toddler climb the ladder at the neighborhood playground slide like he's done many times before.
You're waiting with your arms outstretched at the bottom of the slide, but by the time the light of your life makes it to the bottom, he's screaming in pain because some sick puppy poured industrial strength cleaner all over the slide.
That's what happened to 2-year-old Payton Potochney and his mother outside Baltimore over the weekend, causing third-degree burns over the child's body.
A similar incident happened in Texas.
As the parent of a 3-year-old girl, I am outraged over this story. There's no doubt that some sicko thought it would be fun to cause harm and life-threatening injury to some stranger's kid with the cleaner, which contained highly concentrated amounts of sulfuric acid.
Cops say someone broke into the school and stole several bottles of industrial-strength cleaner and poured them all over a playground meant for pre-school children. They also say the person behind this crime could face charges of aggravated assault.
Once the facts of this case come about, I hope a judge sentences the perpetrator with the most severe punishment.
Little Payton could have been blinded by this crime, and he was scheduled for surgery on Monday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to treat his burns.
Simply put, this is an act of evil. It is no prank, and certainly no laughing matter.
Crimes against children are inexcusable, and it's high time the judicial system begins making examples of the criminals.