Two teenagers have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child after allowing a 2-year-old boy to use a vape pen while the teens were babysitting the toddler.
The incident occurred on January 9, in St. Clair Township, in Pennsylvania, WPXI Local News Pittsburgh reports.
The 17-year-old babysitter–with her 18-year-old friend alongside her–took a video of the toddler using the vape pen and posted that video to Snapchat.
An anonymous user came across the video and notified authorities via the Safe2Say Something tip line, a resource provided by the youth violence prevention program of the same name, run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.
Teen girls in Pennsylvania busted for letting 2-year-old use vape pen in video https://t.co/RfJLV7LCvk https://t.co/z7HBCRZRFd— New York Post (@New York Post)1579093027.0
Pennsylvania State Police Investigators told WPXI that the child found the vaping device on a night stand and began to inhale.
Kids do the darndest things
— Vinny Velias (@vinnzo) January 15, 2020
Shortly after, the two teens began to film the incident, their laughter audible in the background.
— Tina ❄️ (@tinasnow123) January 15, 2020
WPXI Channel 11 asked the boy's mother about the incident, which was discovered only when the police notified the her.
@nypost Surprised? It's the Tidepod eating generation.— PolitiCuda (@PolitiCuda)1579093118.0
She shared how the event has influenced her ability to trust others with her son:
"I'm disgusted. I'm very upset. I'm in disbelief they'd even laugh or have it in reach of a child's possession"
"I'm not trusting anybody anymore to babysit my child. I'm done. I don't even want to put him in daycare. I can't trust anybody anymore."
This story comes during a particularly tense moment for underage vaping across America, with heat turning up on Juul for its teen-aimed advertising campaign, and consistent coverage about the slightly known health risks of vaping.
That said, a 2-year-old sucking back on nicotine juice takes things to a whole other level.
While the story hasn't exactly gone viral on Twitter, this is certainly not the first time vape pens and babysitters mix poorly.
Obviously the real lesson here is to not give vape pens to children that can barely walk or talk. The secondary lesson, however, is that social media activity can lead to very real consequences.