A single parent of five from Georgia is confronting prison time for something that many guardians are at fault for.

Melissa Henderson needed to go to work. Her youngest son was in daycare but his daycare was closed because of COVID-19. After exhausting all her other options, Melissa asked her oldest child to babysit her younger sibling while she was at work.

The 14-year-old was working on her schoolwork when the 4-year-old slipped outside. He was playing outside for about 15 minutes. She didn’t know that a neighbor had called for help when the little boy was alone.




Police came to the family’s home two weeks later after there were no further incidents that day. She was arrested for criminal reckless conduct.

“It was the most embarrassing and humiliating day, honestly, of my life,” she told Inside Edition.

The police report states that the little boy could have been kidnapped, run over, or bitten by a venomous snake if he had been alone. Many people think this is an overreaction. If she is found guilty, she will face a year in jail and $1,000 in fines.

“Thirteen years old and older can be left alone and take care of others for up to 12 hours,” attorney David DeLugas said of the matter.

The Red Cross offers babysitting classes for children as young as 11 years old.