A Frightening incident in Lakewood today

The following incident was submitted by a local resident, and is being published as per Askonim.

Hi, I was learning this morning in a local development shul and I stepped out for a minute to get a pen from my car.

As I was heading back into shul, I saw a toddler about 1-2 years old walking around outside the development crying hysterically.

I took the child and started walking around the development looking for his mother. She was no where to be found.

The weather outside was close to 85 degrees, and the child was red in the face and sweating.

After a few minutes, I knocked on a door of one of the houses and asked the woman who answered if she knows whose child this is. She directed me to a house where a playgroup was being held and said that I should try there.

I rang the bell and a flustered looking Morah answered. She looked at the child and said, “________  where were you? why didn’t you come with Morah from the park?”


Parents – This might have been YOUR child. Please make sure that your childs morah has a system in place to ensure that such things dont happen, and even more so, please ensure that your child’s morah is competent and responsible enough to be caring for multiple children at once.

**This was a tremendous nes, as I generally would not have come outside for at least another 45 minutes, and this part of the development does not really have to many other people wandering around at that time of day. If I would have found that child 45 minutes later, this story probably would not have had such a peaceful ending.

[File photo]

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  1. this happened to me recently. i found a child about that age standing alone on the sidewalk during the day. after knocking on several doors with no response, i called hatzolah. by that time, from the next block down (across a street) a woman holding a baby came running saying she was subbing the playgroup and doesn’t know how the kid left. there are 50,000 what ifs in these situations, and if only the parent would know…..

  2. im not a rov or anything but you very well might have a chiyuv to publicize the neighborhood this was in. It sounded like she didn’t even know he was missing

  3. Thank G-d you were there! This is such a valuable reminder. There is a daycare in the same building as my office. More than once a child has been found wandering the halls. It is quite scary to see young children unattended! Parents are entrusting their most precious children to your care, please do not take this very important job lightly.

  4. For years I’ve been saying that there needs to be some oversight on playgroups. Someone can do it as a business, parents will pay a extra fee and playgroups will be periodically inspected and graded for safety cleanliness, teacher student ratio etc..

  5. I was a playgroup morah, I always counted the kids when we left and got back from the park. It was an extra precaution, bh I never lost a kid!how do you leave a kid and not realize?? Maybe it’s time some morahs realize they are taking on too much

  6. Wow. Crazy. If you would have not been there it probably would not have ended bad (there are 94 times more “almost” accidents then actual) but it’s still warrants a wake up call to these morahs.

  7. Just to point out, (and i am not in the business of watching kids!) that these stories happen to mothers also taking care of their very own kids. A couple of months back in the cold winter weather, at about 8 a.m. I was on my way to work. I was in the midst of making a turn onto a side street and to my surprise, noticed two toddlers wandering around barefoot and in pajamas. After pulling over, I quickly bundled the freezing baby in my jacket, and wrapped a scarf around the 3 year old.
    I asked the kids which house they lived in, but they had no clue. I quickly knocked on a few of doors and those that answered did not know who the kids were. BH, a yungerman walking on the block on his way to shul, told me he thinks they are his landlords kids. He gave me the address. It was 2 BLOCKS away!! When i knocked on the door a very confused, bewildered, and scared looking mother answered. I filled her in on all the details i knew. She told me she was upstairs getting her older children ready for school, and her toddlers were supposedly playing in the playroom! We noticed a stool atop a chair right by the door, and that is how the “big” boy (3) unlocked the door and let him and his brother venture out on that cold day…
    I am not excusing that babysitter, but just pointing out the measures ALL parents and adults supervising children need to take. It should be a lesson to us all.

  8. Another thing thing that Morahs and even Rebbis of younger grades should think about is that when you walk in the street with your class, you should either have an assistant walking in the back of the class or you should be walking backwards so you always have your eyes on the kids. Doing both is even better! I live near the lake and this week I saw a MOrah walking with her class to the lake, I presume, with her back to those precious little boys. It scared me. Another time I stopped at a light on Rt. 9 and saw a Rebbi walking on Madison Ave. with his whole class behind him with his back to the class. Many “what ifs” went through my mind then too.

  9. This story is frightening and horrifying. And everyone should make sure that their MOrah is responsible.
    But I do feel that by large, most of our town has wonderful amazing morahs whom this story would never ever happen to. I have a lot of hakaras hatov to my children’s dedicated morah.

  10. Im not quite sire why you nerd to ask a rav to publicize this story,e specially since you did not mention any names. Do u ask
    Your rov when to make a kiddish for your new baby daughter or when to buy a new/used car?

  11. I see many commentaters talking about the “what ifs” I just want to point out a “what if” pasuk and thee message is this:
    Im Hashm loi yishmor ir, shov shokad shoimer
    tehilim 127

  12. no need to publish every mistake that happens. Think: chilul Hashem…

    of course every, father, mother, caretaker, teacher etc. has to be vigilant & every parent should know whom they are entrusting their children with, but lets not share every bad story please.

  13. Wow what a scary story but like others mentioned this happens all the time unfortunately with mothers not watching their children well enough. I was on my way home from a store erev pesach and saw a toddler about to cross a large avenue. I jumped out of the car across the street and waited more than ten minutes with no one in sight. Finally a frum woman stopped her car and went knocking on door for me until we found the family down the block who didn’t even know she was missing! We need malachim to constantly watch over our children and I’m very happy that I send to a licensed day care with lots of supervision

  14. why do u think a daycare any better? this winter my brother went to pick up his kid at 2:00 from A LICENSED DAY CARE and they handed him his 8 week old baby all wrapped up in his snowsuit and hat. He took the baby on a few errands arriving home at 3. He took the baby out to feed him and discovered it was not his kid. He called the daycare to let them know and that his daughters bus would be arriving in 15 min and he was not available to come back and switch babies. They told him dont worry that baby doesn’t get picked up until 5 so it’s ok if he brings him back before that time. ALL THIS IN A LICENSED DAY CARE.

    • your brother should have realized earlier that it wasn’t his baby. When I pick up my baby I always hug and kiss them and look them in the eye and tell them how much I missed them!! even when my kids are bundled up!!

  15. I would love to have a cop come to the door and tell the mother what was found
    Only prob is that will prob call difes!
    Not worth that

  16. It is very common that kids like to go outside. When my kids were young I had the same problem. So I went to the hardware store and bought a chain lock. Which is installed on the top spot of the door higher that a child’s reach even when they bring a chair to the door.

  17. accidents and problems happen all the time, but they can be minimized. no day care group should consist of one morah only. everyone needs an assistant because, contrary to what we tell kids, we do not have eyes in back of our heads. also, why dont these play groups have fire drills? do the moros even have a plan to get 6+ two year olds out of the room without an assistant? is there more than one exit from that school room? what happens with the other kids when there is an emergency with one child? if a child is left behing or wanders off, does the morah have to take the whole group with her? we seem to have designed the system in an irresponsible manner. surely, licensed goups are not perfect but at least there is some sort of system

  18. Accidents can definitely happen. I was out with my kids – years ago – they were riding bikes. We all came in because some had to use the bathroom. After child #1 was done, I was in the bathroom helping #2. The bathroom door was closed. Child #1 – opened the door and went back outside – and the toddler followed him outside – I in a minutes realized it was too quiet and went out to check – the toddler was in the road. We learn from these things to be very, very vigilant. And adopt procedures that will work for us. Whether it means extra locks on the doors or adopting procedures for going out the door, going to the car when the car is across the street – etc.

  19. To “by me”. Why didn’t you look down at your kid fur a split second b4 taking him? I am sure after two months being together with him on this world you would recognize his face or even his snow suit! Not sure who is at fault.

      • So if it’s easy for the father to make a mistake, all the more so the sitter who presumably had him/her for a much shorter amount of time. Although I do agree that extra effort should be made on everyone’s part to avoid all these scary mistakes.

  20. Firstly I hope everyone is trying to be Dan L’kaf Zechus the Morah. Second of all let us not dwell on this incedent, ( I know it has to brought to everyones attention) let us take action. Hopefully this will be the last of such stories, Amen.

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