A photo of a newborn left alone in a parked car with a handwritten note laid upon her has gone viral and sparked outrage across the web.
The photo was taken in the parking lot of Pak’n Save, a grocery store in Porirua, New Zealand, according to New York Daily News; and it was snapped by the man who parked his car next to the vehicle with the unattended baby.
The note, which was written in the baby’s perspective, said ‘My mum’s in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything’ and then had a cell phone number listed below it.
The man who first noticed the baby shared the initial thoughts he and his family had when they saw the baby, and told the New Zealand Herald, “We waited there for a little bit, wondering if the mum was just going to be two seconds and come back.”
But when that didn’t happen, their concern grew, as he told the New Zealand Herald, “My wife said, ‘I’m not going in [the store] without someone being here with the baby.’”
The photo went viral after getting into the hands of DJ Polly Gillespie, who posted it to Facebook. Thousands of infuriated people were quick to leave angry comments, condemning the mother who left her newborn in the car.
According to Daily Mail, a Plunket National Child Safety adviser named Sue Campbell shared the serious risks involved with leaving a child unattended in a parked car and said, “Babies can dehydrate quickly and become very distressed. So for a newborn that’s one of the key issues. Plus there’s a security issue – a small baby is unable to defend itself if need be, or call for help, or anything like that.”
On top of the safety risks involved with leaving a baby unaccompanied in a car, there are also financial repercussions, as New York Daily News reported the fine for leaving a child under 14-years-old alone in a car is $1,600.