2-Year-Old Flower Girl’s Deadly Fall Is Tragic Reminder to All Parents

balconyThough the terrifying scenario is far too common, the details in this case are particularly haunting. Last week Rihana Bralic Leonard, 2, was getting ready to be a flower girl in her parents' wedding. I'm sure she was giddy with excitement about the dress, the flowers, and the big day, as all little flower girls are. Unfortunately, Rihana never made it down the aisle.

The wedding of her mother Mariana Bralic to her stepfather, Corey Leonard, was set to take place on Saturday, according to CBC News. However, Thursday evening after a rehearsal dinner, little Rihana somehow managed to make her way out onto the balcony through an open door, then crawled over the ledge of her ninth-floor apartment's balcony. She fell to her death below.

By all accounts, it was nothing but an accident -- a horrific, tragic accident, which could have been prevented.

Especially in summer, the headlines are peppered with stories like this across the country and around the world. The windows are open; sliding doors are letting in breezes; and unattended toddlers manage to make their way into dangerous situations. Sometimes they survive; all too often, such as in the case of Rihana, they do not.

More from The Stir: Tragic Baby Death Shows Importance of Careful Co-Sleeping

The couple has, understandably, postponed their wedding so that they can deal with their grief. I can't imagine how they'll ever be able to actually go through with it, knowing their flower girl isn't there with them and never will be. I can't imagine how they'll go on at all.

The last thing this couple needs right now is blame, so I don't write this to blame them or anyone. I'm sure they're blaming themselves plenty regardless of who was in the apartment at the time or who was supposed to be watching her. It should, however, serve as an important reminder to others that toddlers must be watched at all times, and that locks and other safety devices on windows and doors are imperative.

Do you have safety measures in place on your doors and windows?


Image via Frames-of-Mind/Flickr 


a mom's life, safety, toddler development


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

happy... happymama2D

Our windows have safety locks and I had my husband put those hook locks high up on our screen doors and sliding door. Prayers to this family. I would never recover.

mom.08 mom.08

I have the hook locks high up too. Those door knob safe things dont work. They fall slap apart. Double sided deadbolts and hook locks are what i use. Prayers are with the family. God Bless...

ImaSo... ImaSoulMom

Agreed. The hook locks are good. My kids take those door knob covers off. This is so sad. Poor little girl. It is hard to watch kids all the time and when you are in a big group it is so easy to assume family will keep an eye out for your child. Not always the case. Rest in peace little angel.

Torra... TorranceMom

We have a one story house . . . our prayers are with this little girl and her family. So sad!

hexxuss hexxuss

I can't fathom it.  Prayers with this family, they're going to need them. =(

kemcl... kemclaughlin

That is horrible.  My condolences to the family.  Accidents happen to us all, most of the time we are just lucky that the consequences aren't this bad. 

Jessy76 Jessy76

We use double sided key lock dead bolts and have a single story house. My heart goes out to this family I can not even begin to imagine their pain. Just the other day my niece who is just about to turn 2 managed to escape 4 adults in less then a second and she was running down the middle of the street. Luckily the street wasn't busy and she wasn't hurt. All 4 of us were after her immediately. Toddlers even under watchful eye can be very quick especially when they are determined to do what THEY want to do.

Katie Elizabeth Anne

What a tragic loss, I don't think I would ever be able to get married after that.

I lived in a 3rd floor condo and it always terrfied me that my son would fall off the deck  and it actully caused me such bad anxiety I was hospitalized so we decided to move to a house where we could have a yard, and it just so happens that it is a full level basement suite so the windows are 5 feet high, the perfect toddler proofed windows, and blinds. I can only imagine the pain these parents are feeling, it breaks my heart especially with the given circumstances.

Amanda Leon Mehan

RIP little Rihana, my condolences to her mother and step father, I couldn't possibly understand what they are going through but can imagine that its as close to hell as any living soul can get

1-10 of 47 comments 12345 Last