Over the weekend, NFL player, Adrian Peterson disclosed the death of his son, a 2-year-old child, who he just recently learned was his biological child. Ashley Doohen, the child’s mother, left her son under the supervision of her boyfriend, Joseph Patterson. Patterson, 27, who has a history of domestic incidents, called 911 about 5:45 Wednesday to report the child was choking in his apartment, where he had been caring for the boy, authorities said. The child was unresponsive when Sioux Falls Police and EMS arrived.  Patterson was arrested because the child had injuries that were determined to be consistent with abuse, police said. Patterson was initially charged with felony counts of aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault. On Friday, South Dakota State’s Attorney Thomas Wollman told authorities that his office will be “looking at additional charges” in light of the child’s death.

The death of this 2-year-old can serve as a cautionary tale when dating as a single parent.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman with children and dating, there should be a vetting process to determine who’s worthy enough to bring around your children. By worthy, I mean,  doesn’t have a criminal history involving abuse.  In Patterson’s case, he had a previous history of abuse. Patterson had a restraining orders against him after he had beat the  3-year old of an ex-girlfriend so hard that he needed ice for the welts.  The charges in that case were dropped, he also was charged in 2004 for violating a restraining order and again in 2012 for aggravated assault.  He spent 5 days in jail just last year for simple assault. Would you feel safe in bringing a person with a history of violence around your children?

In order to ensure the safety of her children, a friend uses background checks before she introduces anyone to her children. Nowadays background checks start at $9.99 or you can even check the state court systems for free. If many people use them before hiring babysitters, why shouldn’t one be used in conjunction with dating?

The practice of checking a potential mate’s background can be something everyone can add to their dating protocol, even if you don’t have children. Nowadays you can never be too safe.

Clutchettes, have you ever checked a date’s background? 

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