Around the lunchtime hour at a local mall (which will not be named here), I was walking towards one of the many escalators in the building. As I approached it, I heard some yelling and sounds of an object banging and crashing. I realised it was coming from the escalator in front of me. As my eyes adjusted (after focusing on other things), I'd realised what was going on as I saw something tumbling down. To my horror I learned that it was a pram (or stroller, depending where you come from) with a child of about age 2, maybe 3, coming down with it. I didn't see what caused the fall to commence as I only realised after it begun.
I was able to immediately gain the attention of the security team to assist the situation. Thankfully they were there within seconds (a job well done if you're reading, guys). The child's family, as you would imagine, were very upset and worried about how badly hurt their son was after such a terrifying drop. Witnessing this even got my feeling shaky. I don't have kids of my own, but I do have nephews and nieces, so I do have compassion - and this scared me about as much as it did his family.
Thankfully though, I am pleased to say that the damage wasn't as bad as it looked. There were some medical personnel that happened to be in the building at the time and were able to help out. On top of that, the boy was crying (loudly), which was a good sign of being alive and conscious.
The whole situation gave me mixed emotions. Feelings of shock, horror, compassion, sadness, fear, and also a touch of anger. The anger is more about the situation than people in this case. Particularly the fact that there was a pram on the escalator to begin with. Which brings me to the point of this blog entry...
Many a time in the past, I have seen people use the escalator in ways that they shouldn't. I'm not just talking about people being silly on the hand rails (like in the YouTube videos), but people going up/down them with prams, shopping trolleys... Someone I know told me that she once saw someone in a wheelchair using the escalator.
I can't help but ask, why do people do this? Is it to do with convenience? Does the escalator take you closer to your destination faster? Let me put it this way, would you prefer going the long way by finding the nearest elevator/lift, or watching someone you love (or even yourself) take the shortcut to a hospital ward, or in worse cases, a morgue?
My message to people everywhere that use things like a trolley, pram, wheelchair, crutches, walking sticks, heavy loads to carry, anything that may alter your line of sight and/or ability to walk normally, please think responsibly! The incident that I witnessed is an example of something I never want to see again, especially if it involves kids. I never like seeing people getting hurt (TV & movies are different).
Be safe out there and think about what you want to do before making that decision. It could make or break you.
I don't mean to sound like a typical spam message, but please share this with everyone. We all need to be aware of how risky something as simple as this can be.
Thank you for reading.