TikTok of child left alone in a car outside supermarket sparks anger – Insider

A TikToker has sparked debate after posting a video showing a young child who appeared to be left alone in a car outside a supermarket.
TikTok creator @FreddyBoi90, who lives in Des Moines, Iowa, according to his profile, posted the video. In the clip, Freddy said, “So I pull up to the store, right. I get out the truck, I hear something… do y’all see what’s in the car?”
He then zoomed in on a child in the back of a car and said, “What are y’all possibly getting to leave a child in the car like this? I can’t believe this shit.” As of Tuesday, the video has received 4 million views.
He later posted a follow-up video, showing an unidentified woman returning to the car with her groceries. It has received over 800,000 views. 
“She left him in the car, y’all. Wow. I can’t even believe this sh–,” he says. 
Both videos sparked debate among viewers in the comments. Some argued there was “no issue” with leaving a child in the car, so long as the doors are locked and the parent returns quickly. But the majority of comments took issue with the woman’s decision.
One top comment read, “I got six kids, and I took all of them in every store with me. Even just to pay for gas.”
There is no clear indication of how long the child was left, though Freddy said it took “8 mins” for the parent to return to the car from the time he arrived at the store.
Freddy, who regularly posts videos of his children, said in response to another comment that he wouldn’t leave his children in the car no matter how quick the stop was. 
Many commenters urged Freddy to call the police about the situation.
According to the non-profit safety organization KidsandCars.org, there is no federal law in the US that covers leaving children alone in a car, though 20 states, including Connecticut, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, have specific laws that prohibit kids from being in unattended vehicles.  
Iowa has no specific law regarding leaving children in cars, but it does have a law prohibiting child endangerment, which it defines as “knowingly acting in a manner that creates a substantial risk to a child or minor’s physical, mental, or emotional health or safety.”  
It would be up to individual prosecutors to pursue charges of child endangerment for leaving a child in the car. But, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can be very dangerous to their physical health to leave an infant or child in a parked car.
Under its advice on heat, it says, “Even when it feels cool outside, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke and possibly death.”
Various organizations have issued safety warnings against leaving young children in cars. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also reported that at least 40 children left in cars had been abducted during vehicle thefts between March 2020 and May 2021.
For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.
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