Viral Photo: Smoking Baby Causes Online Furor

At the rate that Filipino parents are going rabid over the Internet seemed to warrant parenthood seminar for them.  Fire were not yet fanned out on a viral photo about a child being treated like a dog and here comes another similar situation. This time, one adult was apparently teaching a toddler to smoke.  Last May 26, 2015, a certain Ehrds dela Cruz posted on Facebook a photo of a young woman holding a toddler sucking a cigarette.  Based on the posted image, there were two instances that this little girl was photographed smoking cigarettes.
 
Smoking Baby
Image from Inquirer.net

The image was part of personal album by dela Cruz aptly titled “Yosi Fah More” which was created on February 15 of this year.  Now, there is such a thing as cute moments and this situation could hardly be categorized as one.  First, smoking is dangerous for both adult and young ones, all the more it is very dangerous if you involve toddlers as they have a fragile state of health.  Second, teaching children vices at a very tender age is a working of someone who has a sick mind.  Again, no parents are happy to know that their children are smoking and even drinking.  As much as possible, even smokers themselves would advise and even castigate children if they caught them smoking. 

What does this image tell DSWD?  It is high time that they should create a working body which is tasked to monitor and find pictures with Filipino parents abusing their children.  There might be thousands out there waiting to be discovered and God knows what kind of abuses that are soon to be found.  Second, DSWD will have to call for a multi-sectoral approach to handle social network abuses.  The task is too heavy for one agency to handle and there are serious issues involved such as right to privacy, freedom of speech, and cultural or social implications, among many others. 

It is not enough for DSWD to handle issues after the social network storm exists but should be before the parents can even think of ways or situations where and when they think that their personal moment with their children is cute, funny, humorous, and endearing for them but not to others.  As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”  It is very dangerous for the Philippine society to tolerate social network abuse involving children and tolerate parents with sick minds.  
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