He fell down the spiral stairwell…. Yes. It all came back to me some days back; I looked at my eight year old and couldn’t help but be grateful to God that he’s still here and that he’s in great shape – no negative aftermath from that fall.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the spiral stairwells a number of apartment complexes have.  At a house we lived in sometime back, we had one that led from the kitchen balcony to the parking lot. It was our secondary exit and we were aware of the danger associated with this type of stairwell, so we kept the kitchen door and the safety gate just before it closed all the time to ensure our little one didn’t go out and get hurt.

You know how you identify the hazards in your home and put certain things in place as mitigation? Yeah. We had done that, and the barriers were well understood by all occupants of our home. Our home was safe, or so I thought, until that afternoon. I can’t quite remember what I was doing but I was upstairs when I heard the most heart wrenching wail ever coming from downstairs. My son was crying loudly and calling out ‘Mummy… Mummy….’ I raced down to the front of the house but he wasn’t there, then I quickly went to the back and found him at the base of the stairwell. He had fallen and bumped himself here and there but  thankfully he seemed okay.

We took him to the hospital for a check. The doctor said he was fine but advised us to do an MRI scan to confirm. We sought a second medical opinion and decided against the scan after being properly advised. Thank God for good counsel.

I needed to get to the bottom of this incident to make sure it never repeats itself. A number of things contributed to the incident but this was the most prominent – Someone had come to stay with us for a few days. On this occasion, this person left both door and gate open and my toddler on discovering this decided to go on a let’s see where this road leads adventure. After considering everything, I arrived at the root cause – we did not share this critical safety information/expectation with our guest. 

What barriers do you have in place for safety, security and your overall wellbeing at home, school, work, and so on? Are you actively communicating them to all stakeholders? You see, if people come along and defeat or bypass those barriers intentionally or ignorantly, those barriers are as good as not there in the first place. You can’t go to sleep after putting barriers in place, no matter how strong they are. Barriers must be frequently checked to ensure they’re still functional and in place.

Picture credit: Walmart.com