A New Zealand mother has attracted worldwide rage after a photo surfaced showing her newborn baby sitting unattended inside her car—but there’s one more important detail.
She left a note on top of the baby that read: “My mum in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything.”
The mother’s cell phone number was also written down.
Whether the note was a sick attempt at ironic humor, or a legitimate request, remains unknown.
Thankfully, it wasn’t long before someone happened to pass by the mother’s car parked in the Pak ‘n Save parking lot and noticed the infant, tucked into a baby seat.
Speaking with the New Zealand Herald, the witness said, “We waited there for a little bit, wondering if the mum was just going to be two seconds and come back.”
He added that his wife said, “I’m not going in without someone being here with the baby.”
Soon, other passersby noticed the commotion and joined the concerned group, choosing to split up, with some standing guard by the abandoned car while the others called the mother and went searching for her.
The story quickly went viral after a photo of the infant was posted onto Facebook by radio DJ Polly Gillespie.
Commenters were furious, with one person noting:
I’m sorry this is completely irresponsible! You do not leave children under the age of 14 unsupervised at all. Why did she have time to write a note?? Secondly, you do not put a capsule seat in the front of a car, due to dashboard airbags. Also, if you are that tired you should not be driving.
But another comment sympathized with the mother:
It’s very easy to come on here and cast judgement on others, because I’m sure you’ve never, ever done anything wrong in your lives. The difference is someone took a photo this time. Aren’t you all glad that someone isn’t following you around with a camera. (Aimed at no one in particular, just food for thought).
According to the Pak ‘n Save’s manager, Marty Fryer, they have numerous employees working in the parking lot throughout the day, so one of them would have likely discovered the baby.
“We have staff in the car park,” said Marty, “so if they saw something like a baby in a car they would bring it to our attention.”
New Zealand has laws on the books for abandoning children under the age of 14 in cars for unreasonable periods of time, including fines up to NZ$2,000.
However, local police say they have not received any official, direct reports or complaints and thus have not initiated an investigation yet.
A police spokesperson said, “We don’t know who the people are, we don’t know the phone number, we don’t know where to start We would launch an investigation if we could but at this stage no one’s come forward.”
Thankfully, the baby survived the incident, but a similar case in Scotland did not end so well.
A seven-month-old baby girl from Dundrum, Scotland was left alone in a car for five hours during a heat wave Thursday.
Despite being airlifted to the nearest hospital, the infant was pronounced dead later that day.
One source close to the family said that the parents are absolutely devastated, adding:
The weather in Tipperary today (Thursday) was unbelievably hot and sunny. The car was park in an open space where it did not have the protection from the sun.
The little girl was unresponsive when taken from the vehicle. Paramedics, who were called to the scene along with gardai worked to save her.
She was in such a bad condition the air ambulance was called and took the baby to University Hospital Limerick where a trauma team was waiting for her on arrival.
They worked so hard to save her, but she was pronounced dead at 5 p.m.
It does not take very long for a baby to die of heatstroke, especially inside of a car. If the vehicle is left parked under the sun, with little to no shade, and no windows open, conditions can be compared to an oven or sauna.
In 2016, the United States saw 39 children killed in similar circumstances. 2010 saw the highest number in a single year, 49.
This problem affects older children as well.
The Scottish Sun
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