Police Called on Swedish Mom Who Left Baby Outside Restaurant
August 16, 2011
by Kate Goodin
© Cebas for Veer
A Swedish woman in Massachusetts is under investigation for leaving her one-year-old son outside a restaurant while she went inside to order food.
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The boy was left in his stroller outside an eatery in Amherst, a small college town, last week when police were called. According to police, the Swedish woman saw nothing wrong with this and said that it is common in Sweden to leave children unattended outside restaurants.
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I was just in Stockholm this summer, and while I didn't see this in practice myself, I'm not surprised by the Swedish woman's attitude. I found Sweden to be very safe and child-friendly, so I can see how this practice would work there (example: parents left their strollers by the doors of the metro, while they sat down – sometimes they took the baby with them, sometimes they left the baby in the stroller). But if I had seen an unattended child in a stroller on the sidewalk, I probably would have looked for the parent.
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This isn't the first culture clash of Scandinavian vs. American parenting. A Danish mom was arrested in 1997 for leaving her daughter in a stroller on an NYC sidewalk to have a drink at a restaurant.
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Do you think the Swedish mother should be investigated for this? Would you ever leave your child unattended outside a shop or restaurant?