A teenage babysitter is facing a felony charge after she filmed herself handing a 1-year-old child a marijuana joint, deputies in Florida said.
The 17-year-old babysitter was watching her friend’s 1-year-old daughter in unincorporated Largo, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
The babysitter recorded herself putting a marijuana cigarette inside the 1-year-old girl’s mouth, according to the release. The child then “inhales while the lit marijuana cigarette is in their mouth, and the embers begin to glow brighter,” deputies said in the release.
After the child inhales, the babysitter removes the joint from her mouth and smokes it herself, according to the release.
Deputies responded to a report of the incident on March 23, where the babysitter denied putting the marijuana cigarette into the child’s mouth, but did say she smoked marijuana near the 1-year-old girl.
On March 24, the babysitter was questioned again and she admitted to handing the 1-year-old the marijuana cigarette, according to the release.
The babysitter faces one count of Felony Child Abuse and was transported to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center, according to the sheriff’s office.
Marijuana smoke contains the same carcinogenic chemicals found in tobacco smoke and other dangerous chemicals, such as cyanide and ammonia is “significantly higher in marijuana smoke compared to cigarette smoke,” posing serious dangers to small children, according to the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Studies have shown that children exposed to marijuana were almost twice as likely to “display delinquent behavior, such as drug use,” by the age of 14 and were more than twice as likely to regularly use marijuana and tobacco as adults, according to Harvard University.
The first reported infant death associated with marijuana was documented in 2015, McClatchy News previously reported.
If you suspect a child is experiencing a marijuana overdose and they are not breathing well, unable to stay awake or display other concerning symptoms, contact 911 or visit the closest emergency room immediately, according to the Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Pinellas County is located just west of Tampa.