Toddler seized after mother posted photo of him vaping

SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2024

An adviser to the interior minister led officials to arrest a young mother in Saraburi on Saturday night and temporarily separate her 19-month-old boy from her after she posted a photo on Facebook of him vaping.

Ekkapop Luangprasert, an adviser to the interior minister and founder of the “Sai Mai Tong Rod” (Sai Mai must survive) Facebook page, led Apiwat Wiriyapirom, chief of a children and family reception home of the Social Development and Human Security Ministry, and officers from Muang Saraburi police station to a house in Moo 7 village in Tambon Nong Palai on Saturday night.

They were also accompanied by Boonlai Ngamnetr, head of Moo 7 village.

They went to the house after Ekkapop’s Facebook page was alerted by social networkers that a young couple in the village had allowed their boy to vape an electronic cigarette.

The complaint was raised after the 17-year-old mother posted a photo of the boy vaping on her own Facebook page with the caption “very naughty indeed”.

The post led to angry outcries among social networkers who reprimanded the mother for allowing her boy to vape.

Instead of having remorse, the mother replied that everyone has his or her style of child-raising, and she and her husband raised their boy to be happy, so others should mind their own business.

Once Ekkapop and the team reached the house, the village head called the mother, Ae (not real name), to come out to meet officials.

Ae admitted her boy started vaping five months ago but, she claimed, the boy smoked the e-cigarette in the photo on his own and was not forced to do so.

She said the toddler would cry when not allowed to vape so she did not know how to stop him.

She said she posted the photo without realising it would bring her trouble.

Toddler seized after mother posted photo of him vaping

Ae’s mother Saikaew, 37, said she had reprimanded Ae several times for allowing the toddler to smoke but she would not listen. If the authorities allowed it, she would from now on take care of her grandson and would not allow his mother to raise him any more.

But Apiwat decided to take the toddler to be taken care of at the reception home while Ae was taken to the police station to face charges under the Child Protection Act for endangering the child’s health.

Police said they would investigate where the mother bought the vaper and would take legal action against the seller.

Apiwat said the Child Protection Act empowered him to separate the boy from his mother for his own safety. The toddler would undergo a medical checkup to determine how the e-cigarette had affected his health so he would receive treatment accordingly.

Apiwat said officials of relevant agencies would later evaluate whether the mother and father were capable of taking care of the boy. If not, the boy would be placed under care by the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.

After facing legal action, the mother posted an apology on her Facebook page.

“I would like to apologise to society about the photo that I have posted. I’ve improved myself and I apologise to society for what I have done without realising its impact. I issue a sincere apology and I admit the wrongdoing. I love my kids like other mums.”