Pennsylvania State Police said child endangerment charges are pending against two teenage girls after video posted on social media appeared to show them recording a toddler using a vaping device.
The police said in a statement on Monday that the Troop A Criminal Investigation Unit is investigating the incident they allege took place while a 17-year-old girl was babysitting a 2-year-old boy the evening of January 9 in Westmoreland County, part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. An 18-year-old woman was also at the home, police said.
In the video obtained by state police and provided to CNN affiliate KDKA, at least one girl can be heard laughing while a toddler appears to put a vaping device in his mouth. A girl next to the child holds her phone out in front of him, appearing to take a photo or video. The toddler falls down and starts coughing.
Police said they received an anonymous tip about the incident on Sunday through the Safe2Say reporting system after the video was posted on Snapchat. In the release, the police said the device is believed to contain 3% nicotine and no THC.
“The child, while observed in the video to be coughing after inhaling from the device, did not display any other visible effects,” the police statement said.
Authorities alerted the child’s parents, who they said were unaware of the incident, and also reported it to Children and Youth Services. Charges of endangering the welfare of children are pending against the teenagers, police said.
The teenagers are not related to the boy, police said.
Police have not publicly identified the two teenagers, but the United School District of Armagh, Pennsylvania confirmed that it believes the girls were students in the district.
“United administration was made aware of the video today, and the matter is being investigated by the authorities,” superintendent Barbara Parkins said in a statement. “We believe that two of our students were involved in the situation. The names of those students were provided to the authorities.”
Parkins told CNN that the school district was also notified of the incident through the tip reporting system, adding that the district was not involved in “imposing punishment” on them.