In what can only be described as an act of recklessness and sadism, two Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania youth induced a two year old boy to vape, while filming the incident and laughing at the child’s discomfort.

A mother, who requested to remain unidentified for reasons of privacy for herself and her child, engaged the babysitting services of a 17 year old female. At some point, the 17 year old’s 18 year old friend joined her in the home where the guardianship of the two year old child had been contracted. Though details reported to CNN and related by Deseret News are scarce, what is clear is this:

At some point during her engagement in the home, the 17 year old babysitter and her 18 year old friend provided the the 2 year old boy in her care with a vape containing 30mg strength nicotine e-liquid. The brand of even type of device is not specified, but at 30mg strength, it’s likely that it was salt nicotine based. The two teenagers then began filming the toddler. When the toddler then inhaled from the device, a coughing fit and tears followed — at which point, the teenagers laughed.

It’s difficult to read or hear of that kind of behavior and restrain outrage and anger. Behavior like that is irrational, cruel, and utterly devoid of even a vestige of ethics. As much as readers should be drawn to sympathize with the 2 year old, we might also feel pity for the 17 and 18 year olds, who received an upbringing so utterly lousy that they would find sport in behavior like this. Shorter and more simply, and let this not be mistaken as an excuse for their behavior: those teenagers were raised wrong.

Beyond simply filming the abuse of this child, however, the teenagers then uploaded the video, sharing it with the public via social media.

The child’s mother was unaware of the incident until she was informed of it by the Pennsylvania State Police, who were informed of it by an anonymous tipster through the state’s child abuse reporting mechanism Safe2Say Something. Responding to the incident, the child’s mother said:

“I’m in disbelief that they would even laugh or that they would even have something like that in reach of a child. No child should have that fear of going into someone else’s house and not being protected.”

Words can’t properly capture the discomfort, outrage, and anger that this incident brings to the surface. Our sympathy and best wishes go to the child and his mother in this case.

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