Though 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.
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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
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside