A teenage mother has shared her regret at letting her baby suck on a vape after footage of the incident went viral online.
The 16-year-old mum was fiercely lambasted over the video which showed her putting the e-cigarette into the 10-month-old boy’s mouth as she and her friends screeched with laughter.
The young woman, from New South Wales, Australia, has since defended her actions, insisting “it was only meant to be a joke”.
She told The Daily Telegraph: “I put the vape up near him and I never thought he would grab it, I thought he‘d push it away.”
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Insisting that she’d “never done it before” she stressed: “I don’t even smoke near him, I’m always careful of that stuff."
She added: "I wish I didn’t do it, but I never meant to hurt him. I would never hurt him.”
The teenager also told the news site that she’d been hounded since the clip was shared on social media, receiving abusive calls and even death threats.
"I know I did the wrong thing, but what people are saying to me and writing is full on, I don’t deserve that," she said.
Viewers of the video have expressed their horror at her behaviour, including members of her own family.
“It’s honestly putrid, like I will not say that it’s not because it is,” one woman – purportedly the boy’s aunt – told 7News, adding that she had swiftly “removed [her] nephew from that situation.”
Another family member said the video “made [her] sick” but argued that “it was just a stupid mistake that she made with a bunch of friends,” and that the young mum was “trying her best”.
The 16-year-old’s mother made the same point to The Daily Telegraph, saying: "It’s not easy for her, she’s 16 and she’s on her own, but I’ve been there since his birth and I’m helping her.
"She’s trying her best and she is a good mum."Despite the widespread concern, local police have confirmed that no action will be taken against her.
In a statement shared with the media last week, a NSW Police spokesperson said: “Officers attached to Mid North Coast Police District attended a home in Kempsey yesterday, following a concern-for-welfare report regarding a 10-month-old boy.
"Police have now spoken with the child’s family and – following advice provided by with medical professionals and other governmental agencies – no further police action will be taken."
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