7-month-old baby freezes to death after being left in the balcony for five hours by mother for 'fresh air'
A Russian baby died of hypothermia after being left out in the balcony for 'fresh air' with temperatures touching a freezing 14 degrees Fahrenheit
A baby has reportedly frozen to death after he was left out in the balcony by his mother in Russia with authorities launching a criminal investigation into the case.
According to officials, the unfortunate tragedy took place on Sunday, January 5, morning in the Russian town of Nikolaevsk-on-Amur in the east Khabarovsk region. Temperatures in the region had dropped to a freezing 19 degrees Fahrenheit at the time when the baby was left out in the balcony.
Local media revealed that the 40-year-old mother of the child had kept her seven-month-old baby in a stroller on the balcony of an apartment building so that the child could sleep in fresh air.
According to reports by Russian news outlets, the woman then forgot that she had kept her son in the balcony and remembered that he was left out only after around five hours.
According to Lenta, a Russian news site, a preliminary report into the child's death found that he had died due to hypothermia.
The region's health ministry issued a warning following the incident and urged people not to leave their children outside unattended. The ministry took to Instagram to say, "Always know where and with whom [your child] is."
"Do not pass by if another child is in danger — in winter a child who is lost or injured on the street can very quickly become a victim of low temperatures," the statement read. It also stated that children in the Khabarovsk region were becoming victims of parental "ignorance" and negligence.
According to BBC, taking young children outdoors in order to get them to sleep is not at all uncommon in countries with colder climates.
Parents in Nordic countries such as Finland and Norway believe that sleeping outdoors can help children sleep better. The idea also revolves around the belief that exposing children to fresh air can help them to avoid catching colds and coughs.