Deciding what age is old enough to leave your kids alone — and where, and for what amount of time — can be extremely difficult for parents to decide. And the answer might be really different depending on lots of factors, like circumstance and maturity. You also have to keep state laws for leaving kids at home in mind.
But sometimes it’s clearer than other times that a kid shouldn’t be alone. One of those times probably happened in July, when a woman saw a couple leave their 7-year-old girl and small baby on a sidewalk at Sea World in San Diego so that they could ride a nearby roller coaster.
They were allegedly gone for over 25 minutes, and the woman caught the incident on tape while trying to find help for the kids. User @mycrazyneighbori105 on TikTok posted a video as the events unfolded.
During the video, you can hear a baby crying as bystanders try to establish what is going on.
“1 1/2 year old baby being watched by a 7-9 yr old sister, parents were gone for over 25 minutes, the caption reads. “What would you do?”
The woman calls over a security guard, who’s at a loss about what to do. He gets on a call with a manager or supervisor and explains the situation. “I’ll be watching them, but… that’s not okay,” he says into his device.
In the meantime, the baby continues to cry off and on while the girl waves at her mom on the ride.
“I’m shaking, dude,” the woman says.
In the caption, the woman says that when the parents got back, they got their kids and walked off.
In a second video, the woman explains a few things in more depth.
“This wasn’t for attention, this was for awareness,” the caption reads.
First, she explains that she didn’t pick up the baby because she was assisting the little girl. Then, she explains why she doesn’t blame the girl for anything.
“We don’t blame the little girl, it’s not her fault,” she says. “Her job is to be a child, not a parent to this baby. She was frustrated, she kept rocking the stroller, she kept hitting the stroller. She’s going to defend her parents to the end.”
Finally, she address people who said she was being nosy.
“To the people who said I should mind my own business, you’re very right,” she responds. “This is how this world is becoming just about yourself. But if something would have happened to that baby or that little girl, I would have blamed myself because I was right in front of them.”
It’s never great to judge parents — but when safety is an issue, stepping in could keep kids from getting hurt. In this case, if the videos and narration are accurate, it likely wasn’t great parenting to put so much responsibility on such a young kid or to risk the safety of both kids by leaving them unattended in a theme park for so long. Props to the mom who stood by them until their parents returned.