Teen Sees Woman Leave Sleeping Baby in Car While She 'Runs Into Store' & Calls Police on Her


Baby in car seat

We've all heard countless warnings about what can happen when kids are left unattended in the car -- more times than we can probably even count. But there's good reason safety experts shout this one from the rooftops. According to Kids and Cars, 53 children have died in hot car related deaths in 2019 alone. So imagine the horror that one high school student felt when recently seeing a mom leave her baby in the car in the front of a grocery store. The student's reaction? A call to the police -- and the mom was none too thrilled.

  • In a now deleted Reddit post, the unnamed teen recalled their concern when they saw the mom start to walk away, leaving her tot in the back seat.

    The child looked to be about 1 or 2 years old, and the teen had clearly seen enough horror stories on the news to know that a baby alone + a hot car = big trouble. 

    "So I said, 'Oh hey, ma’m, your kid is still in there,'" the poster recalled. "She said, 'Thanks for your concern but I’ll only be a minute' and kept walking away."

    But the teen couldn't let it go.

    "I ran up to her and said, 'Ma’m you really can’t do that' and she said, 'You’re clearly young, you might think you know everything about parenting and raising a kid, but someday when you have a baby you’ll have a day like this and realize how ridiculous it is to wake up a sleeping baby when you’re just running in to buy one thing,'" the poster continued.

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  • The concerned teen tried to reason with the mom, but she really wasn't having it.

    "'I don’t have to explain myself to you," the mom allegedly told the teen. "This isn’t your child and this isn’t your business.'"

    Then, she proceeded to walk right on into the store.

    "I stood around uneasily for a little bit (two to three minutes) and finally decided I had to call the police," the poster continued. "911 asked me to stay on the line until police got there."

    The police arrived just as mom was leaving the grocery store -- five to seven minutes later.

    "I spoke with the police and gave a statement," the teen shared, "but she was hysterically crying saying she was just in there for a minute and why was it a police matter."

    The teen was acting out of the deep concern she had for the child's well-being, but now, she's not so sure she did the right thing.

    "Could someone more objective weigh in?" she asked Reddit.

  • There were plenty of people who applauded the teen for her quick thinking. 

    The poster later explained that a number of bad things that could have happened to the toddler ran through their mind, which is what ultimately led to the 911 call.

    "What went through my mind at least is car gets stolen by someone who doesn’t notice the child or is too irrational to care," the teen wrote. "The child is abducted. The child chokes on something or had a medical episode (this crossed my mind because my sister is epileptic and was alone when she had her first seizure.)"

    "So far fetched," the teen added, "but not so impossible ... I couldn't walk away in that moment not knowing the woman, and feel comfortable."

    Many people in the comments section agreed.

    "If the cops managed to get there by the time the lady came out of the shop then she definitely left the kid unattended for too long," one person wrote.

    "Don't leave your babies in a car unattended," another person added. "It is against the law."

    "Leaving a child in a car is child endangerment," a third person wrote. "Anyone could theoretically take the baby out of the car and be gone within a flash. It only takes seconds for something bad to happen."

  • However, there were plenty of others who disagreed, believing that the teen completely overreacted.

    "There’s no reason to involve the cops and possibly get the child taken away because it wasn’t in any danger," one person wrote. "Depending on location, it’s not extreme weather temperatures right now and they’d be just fine."

    "The baby is not going to die in the seven minutes that the kid is sleeping in the car," another person added. "It's literally impossible to watch your kid every minute while its growing up."

    "The kid is not going to get randomly kidnapped either, especially at a grocery store parking lot where TONS OF PEOPLE are walking through by the minute," the person continued. "I'm pretty sure people would notice and call the cops if someone broke into a car and took a baby"

    Meanwhile, this commenter was fuming: 
    "I can’t believe the plethora of NTAs and black and white thinking in this thread. One commenter wrote, 'You never leave a baby in the car, not even for a minute.' Are we [expletive] serious with this? One minute. Sixty seconds. I deserve to have the police called on me if I park the car and walk 20 feet to the (outdoor!) library drop box? If I walk inside the house to grab a blanket from the couch before bringing in my sleeping child?"
  • Studies, however, show that this argument might be misguided.

    According to Kids and Cars, in the first 10 minutes the car will experience an 80 percent increase in heat. And children have died "from heatstroke in cars in temps as low as 60 degrees," the website stated.

    "Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute," the advocacy group urged.

    There's also another risk factor at play: "Cribs are designed for sleeping," the website stated. "Car seats are not."

    Even if some Redditors considered the teen's actions to be "dramatic," the truth is, there were safety risks involved. And the fact that the teen stepped in to help should be applauded, not criticized.

car seat safety