A babysitter and her friend are facing charges in Pennsylvania after allowing a two-year-old in their care to vape, and sharing video of the event on social media. The story has found its way from local newspapers to national news outlets like NBC News, Yahoo, and The Hill.
The event happened last week in St. Clair Township, PA, about an hour from Pittsburgh. The boy was staying in the 17-year-old babysitter’s home, and an 18-year-old friend of the babysitter was also present. The child grabbed the babysitter’s JUUL from the bedroom nightstand, inhaled it and coughed.
The babysitter and her female friend, who had been recording the event on a phone, didn’t try to stop the boy from vaping, and laughed while it happened. They later posted the video to Snapchat. Someone who saw the video alerted police, and they arrested the babysitter and her friend.
“They did not prevent him from inhaling from it,” and by not doing so, they violated a duty of care, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Clifford Greenfield told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The two women face misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child. The babysitter will be charged as a juvenile.
The toddler’s parents were unaware of the incident until police alerted them several days later. “The parents, we believe, are completely innocent in this,” Trooper Greenfield told the newspaper. However, the incident was reported to the state’s Children and Youth Services department.
Police believe the JUUL contained three-percent nicotine e-liquid. The boy had no effects beyond coughing immediately after inhaling from the vape.