That parents must exercise better judgment and not leave children unattended is the message being urgently conveyed by the office of Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who conducted an investigative report of parents in his district leaving toddlers or even infants unattended for several minutes.
“The mentality that Boro Park is an insular, safe neighborhood where everyone can be trusted and nothing can go wrong needs to change,” Hikind said in a release from his office.
The Brooklyn Democrat, who is currently sitting shivah for his mother, had been working for months on this report, which was written before his mother’s passing. A planned rollout of the report with a press conference was cancelled.
It seems incongruous in a community that values children that incidents of strollers left unattended occur, but they do, Hikind said. In one case, an unsupervised carriage with a baby in it was seen in the lobby of 1310 48th Street, the parent nowhere to be found. A search located the baby’s father on the fourth floor.
In other incidents, children have been left in strollers and carriages outside of stores and restaurants in busy shopping areas without any adult supervision for long periods of time. Young parents are often seen pushing a carriage into street, oblivious to oncoming traffic because they are distracted by talking on a cell phone or texting someone. Children are often seen running ahead of a parent into a crowd or, worse, an intersection.
“Let’s all take the initiative when it comes to the safety of our community’s children,” Hikind said. “Let’s not wait until there’s a tragedy, G-d forbid, before everyone reassesses safety concerns.”