Negligence of foreign domestic helper at Botanical Gardens in Central sparks concerns for child safety

Picture for illustration purpose only.

21st November 2023 – (Hong Kong) A concerned netizen recently shared a distressing incident on a local Facebook page she witnessed at the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens Green House in Central. The incident involved a young child who had become separated from her aunt while visiting the gardens. The netizen, who had just returned from the gardens, felt compelled to share the incident and raise awareness about the importance of child safety.

According to the netizen’s account, she and her companions discovered a tearful little girl, approximately 3 to 4 years old, riding a scooter near the gardens’ exit. The child was dressed in an Elsa (Frozen) blue princess dress with a silver crown, adding to the concern for her well-being. The netizen and her companions decided to assist the girl in finding her ‘aunt’, who was responsible for her care.

To her astonishment, she noticed a group of foreign domestic helpers engaged in a chat nearby, seemingly oblivious to the distressed child’s situation. It turned out that one of the domestic helpers in the group was, in fact, the little girl’s ‘aunt’, despite being seated in a location where the shop next to the exit was not visible. The netizen expressed relief that the child was ultimately reunited with her helper, but also voiced anger at the negligence displayed by the domestic helper.

The netizen’s post received significant attention, with other individuals sharing their own experiences and expressing their concerns about child safety. Many netizens commended the netizen for stepping in to help, emphasising the importance of collective vigilance in safeguarding children.

One netizen highlighted the frequency of such incidents and expressed hope that the child’s mother would take appropriate action to prevent a recurrence. Another netizen, speaking from the perspective of an expectant grandmother, stressed the need for parents to regularly assess whether domestic helpers are effectively prioritizing safety. They shared their own unfortunate experiences with safety issues involving domestic helpers.

Concerns were also raised about the dangerous nature of the road near the gardens, adding an additional layer of risk to the situation. Netizens thanked the original poster for their intervention and expressed surprise that domestic helpers had not yet responded to the post, as they often do in similar situations. The original poster responded, stating that the situation was clear and required no further discussion.

Some netizens shared their personal decisions to avoid playdates supervised by domestic helpers, citing instances of negligence they had witnessed. Another netizen recounted an incident involving two helpers engrossed in their phones, leading to a child wandering off unattended.

The netizen’s actions were widely praised, with many expressing gratitude for stepping in to help the distressed child. The incident sparked a broader conversation about the issue of negligence by domestic helpers and the need for increased awareness and responsibility in caring for children.

As the post gained traction, netizens also discussed the possibility of identifying the child and the helpers involved, in order to inform the child’s parents about the incident. The collective hope was that such awareness would serve as a reminder to domestic helpers about the importance of their responsibilities and the potential consequences of neglect.