A Fall down 13 Steps--What A Stressful Night (LONG)!!!!

ZoesMomNovember 9, 2001

Please! Please! Please! Make sure your gates are secure!

Yesterday evening when DH got home from work, I went out to get the mail. As I went down the 13 steps in our townhouse to the front door, I "thought" I had secured the gate behind me. We have one of those First Years metal gates that you open with your foot & it swings out or in. I guess I pushed it behind me and it didn't latch properly. Well, in those few minutes I was gone, our soon to be 15-month old DD went over to the gate area (which is in a little alcove not visible by the living room) and tumbled all the way down the steps to the linoleum floor below. DH was sitting on the chair calling his brother and heard her plummeting to the bottom. As I was walking back to the house, I could hear her screaming! DH was holding her when I walked in and she immediately vomited all over him. She also had blood coming from the mouth area. For any of you that have had your child injured, you know the feeling that was in the pit of my stomach!!! I could tell the mouth injury was not serious and her teeth were intact. I was more concerned about a head injury. I called our HMO and was put on hold for over 30 minutes!!! I had considered calling 911 but I kinda knew she was probably okay as she quickly settled down, ate a frozen Gogurt (I did this to try to get something cold on her lip--she wouldn't let me put ice on it or even her little boo-boo frozen thingamajig.) Well, it went from bad to worse. They sent us to the hospital (which is 40 minutes away) where we sat and waited for almost three hours! She was seen in triage within the 1st hour, and the nurse said she thought everything was okay--no fever, acting normal, etc. so she was just placed on the regular waiting list. Well, after three hours of waiting (where she played, walked, laughed, ate), we talked with the nurse and took Zoe home without even seeing a doctor! My experiences with our HMO are another looooong forum topic!!!

Everything seemed fine....we let Zoe sleep with us and I woke up at midnight and could feel the heat coming from her body--temperature of 103.5. I went down to get the Motrin but we're out so I have to go out to the 24-hour Food Lion to get some. We gave her the Motrin, put cool compresses on her, and the fever was back to normal within an hour. To top everything off, DH gets called out on an auto theft at 2:30 a.m.!!! Luckily, as he is shaving, they call back and say another detective was on route!!! Jeez!

I'm happy to report that this morning she seems just fine with the exception of a little bruising and a fat lip. She has an appointment with her pediatrician in a few hours just to be sure.

This experience has made me realize that you can not let your guard down for one second. My DH & I have always been extremely paranoid about the steps and can't believe this happened. I think we have just been feeling comfortable with our parenting since everything has gone so smoothly thus far!!! I ALWAYS close the gates--even when she's sleeping or at daycare the few hours she goes during the day. This time, my carelessness of not ensuring the gate was latched could have resulted in a disaster! Of course, my DH completely blames himself. He says he ALWAYS checks to see if the gate is secure when she goes over to that area. He said he was even thinking of doing so but said to himself, "No, I'm sure it's shut." You should have heard him cussing at himself...."there I was sitting on my fat *$$ talking on the phone....I just felt like killing myself when I heard that sound of her falling."

So, please make sure your gates are securely latched and that you have the right type of gate for the TOP of the stairs. I've read that some of the pressure gates can become loose as a toddler is pushing on them.

Thanks for listening!!! I'm starting to feel much better as I hear my little angel laughing as she's chasing the cat!!!

Take care!!!!!

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Deep breath Mom, she sounds good. I know what you're feeling right down to dh 2:30 call!!! You're right, we can't let our guard down, as those little angels find every trick to get around what we thought was a safe environment.
Hope you and dh don't beat yourselves up over it anymore.
We've all gone thru something like this and the best thing to do is just move on and keep careful watch.
Have a better day than yesterday

    Bookmark   November 9, 2001 at 9:10AM
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Oh my, what a scary night!! I got teary-eyed just reading your post. It is the most scary thing when they get hurt. You feel so helpless!! I am glad to hear she is ok!!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2001 at 9:28AM
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Oh your poor DD and poor you! Glad she seems ok now. Don't beat yourself up about the gate not being secure. With three children we've had our share of tumbles down stairs and other accidents. Mine were ok after falling down though and didn't have the reactions that your child did. Sure hope she is feeling ok today. Let us know. Hugs to you mom!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2001 at 10:02AM
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Thank g@d she is ok. Been there done that. It's no fun.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2001 at 1:11PM
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i got tears just listening to your story--thank G-d she is okay- you guys are not bad parents-these things happen. you are right to take all the measures to assure her well being..with the hospital etc. good for you-how scary!!! thank you for sharing this so other parents can see that accidents happen.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2001 at 4:56PM
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This reminds me of when I had DS in the car seat on the kitchen counter. He was 5 months old. I was standing in front of him feeding him rice cereal. I backed away TWO STEPS to the refrigerator and he arched his back and the car seat tipped forward and he slid out- right onto the kitchen floor like a burial at sea. I was in a panic. He cried like crazy for the first 5 minutes or so then got really quiet. Like he was falling asleep. I was home alone with him at the time and I freaked out. Kept thinking his little brain was bleeding or swelling or something awful, so I called 911. They sent the cops AND and ambulance but when the cops got here he perked right up the little stinker. Took him over to the ER anyway just to be sure, but boy I was a wreck. Felt like the worst mother on the planet.
Just this week my 2 1/2 yo DD ran full speed smack into the dining room buffet thing. Hit it so hard it knocked her back on her behind. It actually put a crease in her skin on her forehead. Scared the wits out of me
It it totally awful when your baby gets hurt. Thanks God they seem to be made of rubber sometimes.
BTW, the ER doc said unless they "loose consciousness", it's usually fine. Also check their pupils. If they're equal in size and they react to light, that's another good sign.
But that throwing up thing would have scared me, too.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2001 at 1:53AM
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Those are the 2 questions our dr. asked the one very scary time I slipped on a patch of ice and fell w/ DS in a front carrier. Did he throw up? Did he lose consciousness?

He barely touched ground -- my hand and knee took the brunt of it (so instinctual; I tucked and rolled him without even a milli-second to think about it); but of course that's how we react!

I'm glad that things were looking up when you posted. How's everything now?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2001 at 1:58AM
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I'm happy to report that Zoe is doing fine although we had a horrible weekend! When I took her to the pediatrician to get her checked out from the fall and to check her runny nose, we found out both ears were infected! I guess that's where the fever came from. She fought a fever all weekend, had conjunctivitis, and a nonstop runny nose! Poor little thing. She was so sick. Finally on Tuesday, she was back to her usual happy self!

Thank goodness DH was off all weekend and Monday! This is the first time we've ever had to deal with a sick baby! My arms would have fallen off carrying around her chubby 25.6 lb. body for three days!!!

Oh, I just love her so much. I just can't help but kiss and hug her 1,000 times a day!!!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2001 at 8:13AM
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I'm wondering if part of her fall was that her balance was messed up, w/ inner ear infections.

It's scary, isn't it?

I'm glad she--and YOU--are doing fine now.

I remember when my daughter put her father's razor to her lip, and cut it. Argh! How do you put stitches in a LIP? Fortuantely, it wasn't bad at all once we all calmed down and the bleeding stopped. My poor pediatrician--we called immediately, he called back really soon, and we (well, I) were still slightly hysterical when he called.

And my son bumped himself down a full flight of stairs the day after he learned to walk.

Thank God we all live through this.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2001 at 11:03AM
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