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to think that people should have helped

(58 Posts)
FrankBongers Sat 27-Nov-10 18:13:36

Was in M&S earlier today and a mum and her little girl were going down the escalator. The little girl freaked out and climbed back to the top but her mum was already going down it.

The little girl (prob about 4 or 5) was sat at the top in hysterics with her feet right on the moving bit. The poor mother was trying to run up the escalator but was getting nowhere - it was like something from a nightmare.

The mum eventually realised that she was not going to be able to reach her daughter, and shouted 'stay there, I'll come back for you', she then ran down the escalator, to go to the 'up' escalator, which is completely out of sight of the other one.

This whole time, people were just stood staring, and loads of people were literally stepping over the little girls head to go down the escalator. It took a good 40 seconds, and probably about 15 people stepping over, before a woman took hold of this child.

Every one knew what was happening, must have been at least 100 people watching.

Poor mum must have been frantic, and to see these people stepping over her DD must have been terrible.

I was totally on the wrong side of the shop, but was heading over to grab the girl but this other woman got there first.

Bloody ridiculous. Am also cross with myself that I didn't shout across the shop 'Will someone pick up that child before she falls down the escalator'.

If you are that poor mum, have a giant non mumsnet hug from me and a massive glass of wine.
angry at fuckwit people stepping over.

notalone Sat 27-Nov-10 18:24:57

Some people are twats. Probably scared of being accused of kidnap or something. Glad it all worked out ok

DeidreBarlow Sat 27-Nov-10 18:27:55

Poor child, and poor mum - thank goodness somone saw sense eventually.

Numberfour Sat 27-Nov-10 18:36:26

Poor kid and poor mum! YANBU. So ridiculous that people nowadays are either too scared or too indifferent to help.

Chances are it is fucking indifference.

mumbar Sat 27-Nov-10 18:38:25

YANBU, I'm often shocked at how many people don't intervene in situations.

I've seen people move out of a toddlers way who was making a break from mummy rather than stop the child confused

FunkySnowSkeleton Sat 27-Nov-10 18:40:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hairytriangle Sat 27-Nov-10 18:41:03

Poor them. I would have helped, if I'd been near the little girl, to try and calm her down and say 'Mummy's coming'.

However, I have before now found a wandering , crying toddler shouting 'mummy, mummy' in a supermarket and said 'lets go and tell the lady to make an announcement to find your mummy' - didn't take his hand but he was coming with me to the customer service desk, but the mother then found him - didn't thank me, and scowled at me.

People are afraid these days - you can't win, can you.

altinkum Sat 27-Nov-10 18:45:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nannynick Sat 27-Nov-10 18:46:04

I'm a bloke... would it have been ok for me to pick up the child and move them to safer place, whilst they awaited their mum?

It's a dilemma - people are afraid to help these days.

moomaa Sat 27-Nov-10 18:48:44

My DS (nearly 4) got panicked on an escalator, not sure why, been fine before, would have fallen and was getting too close to the edge, but I had to keep hold of DD and the nice man behind grabbed hold of him and kept hold until we got to the top. We probably all would have gone if I had carried on struggling. Some people are nice.Poor them.

altinkum Sat 27-Nov-10 18:49:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

larrygrylls Sat 27-Nov-10 18:52:30

I am a bloke too but do noy understand the dilemma. Firmly but kindly pick the child up and carry her down the escalator to her mother.

Some people overthink these things. Do the right thing and don't worry about others' paranoia.

ZZZenAgain Sat 27-Nov-10 18:53:46

People should have helped but often they are distracted, don't see how a situation came about, think someone else is going to deal with it, all that kind of thing

Stepping over the dc is weird behaviour in my eyes

nancydrewrocked Sat 27-Nov-10 19:05:07

Dreadful - I think it is sadly more often than not that people are simply indifferent as opposed to worried about the consequences of getting involved.

Similar happened to me at the airport recently. DD (5) doesn't love escalators but is usually ok, as we approached one I was a fraction ahead of her and she just didn't step on and was left at the top as I travelled down. People were streaming past and not one gave either me or her anything more than a tut.

DD did get on the escalator of her own accord and then a charming lady berated me for not supervising my DD more carefully.

Bicnod Sat 27-Nov-10 19:10:37

YANBU. The down escalator was broken at Brixton tube a couple of years ago and this poor woman was carrying a folded up buggy in one hand, had bags over both shoulders so couldn't physically pick up her child and was holding his hand (he was about 2 I think) as he walked down the steps. It looked terrifying, the steps on escalators are huge, the tot wasn't totally steady on his feet and commuters were rushing past. I didn't really think about it and just picked the little boy up on my way past (I said 'let me help' or something like that - didn't just whisk him away without a word) and walked down the escalator and waited for the mum at the bottom. I don't understand how people can just walk past when a child is in danger of getting hurt.

Islandsinthestream Sat 27-Nov-10 19:19:45

I think people don't often realise what's actually going on quickly enough, you know like if you fall you don't really know it straight away?

Seeing something happening from across the shop is different to just coming across something by surprise at the top of an escalator, as if you see it from a distance you have time to process the situation properly, although of course this doesn't excuse people who did realise and did nothing. Also, if the mother had shouted "Somebody please lift my daughter up" probably someone would have reacted sooner.

My DH & I were with our DC in the park, a little boy (6 ish) got stuck on one of the apparatus and couldn't move/get off, a look around the park saw no sign of a parent running to help him, he was getting agitated and upset so my DH lifted him up and out safely. We both thought the same thing, that you don't want to physically touch another child but common sense in this was to help, it was stupid not to. The parent was busy talking and hadn't noticed, but I would have had a lot to say if they'd tried to say anything negative to us.

It's a sorry state of the times when you need courage to help a child in danger or discomfort for fear of any reprisal.

complexnumber Sat 27-Nov-10 19:25:05

I remember an incident at Reading station a few years ago. I was by the escalator when I noticed a woman fall on the down-ramp, quick as a flash I hit the emergency stop button.

Only to see her continue to descend in distress.

It took a couple of seconds before I noticed everyone on the ascending flight giving me daggers as their staircase had stopped and they were all left carrying their luggage up the remaining stairs.

(no medal there then)

LoudRowdyDuck Sat 27-Nov-10 19:27:47

I am shocked and hope I would help ... but I also know (as a person without children) that I can be guilty of just not noticing things that parents do. The other day I was in Clarks and there was a little girl toddling around who fell over and hit the side of her head on the corner of the display - I felt so bad that I'd not realized she would do it. I am sure a parent would instantly have seen she was of an age to fall over and would have grabbed her, but I just didn't process it.

I can't tell from the description if it's possible some of the people in the OP simply didn't realize the child was in danger? sad

racmac Sat 27-Nov-10 19:29:10

I have had this before - I had trolley in ikea going down escalator - and 1 child stpped on ok - the other one i thought was just stepping on but freaked out - thankfully a young couple (prob no more than 16) picked him up and plonked him on the escalator!

I d have been completely stuck if they hadnt - i couldnt have got back up quickly as i had ds2 and a bloody trolley and i didnt even know where the up escalator was

I dont understand this not helping either

nannynick Sat 27-Nov-10 23:04:24

Crowd theory perhaps. If you are the only person to see it, you help. If there is a crowd, then you don't as responsibility is somehow spread amonst the crowd. I think that is the theory.

2shoesnightmarebeforechristmas Sat 27-Nov-10 23:06:17

yanbu
I would have at least stayed with the child an dsome how let the mum know her dd was ok

A1980 Sat 27-Nov-10 23:20:34

I would be nervous to intervene and tocuh someone elses child as some people don't always appreciate help and can be quite aggressive if you go near their kids.

I do wonder why the mother wasn't holding the childs hand on an escalator in the first place. She couldn't have made a break for it so easily otherwise.

Ladyofthehousespeaking Sat 27-Nov-10 23:22:48

Holy crap! I would have grabbed her and dragged her off poor little thing.

Saying that though, on holiday once I saw a toddler walk into the middle of the road (the mum had her back to her and was chatting to another lady) I saw at least 7-8 people watching this girl go and then noticed a car coming over the hill- no one moved an inch, I legged into the road and grabbed the girl who had stopped in a Sort of deer in the headlights pose, only then did people start crowding round us. Blardy bastards.

FanjoKazooie Sun 28-Nov-10 09:22:12

Yes Nannynick you could be right. There was something about this on QI last night, that the more bystanders there are watching something, the longer it takes for someone to take action because everybody is waiting for someone else to do something, and people are afraid of doing the wrong thing, especially as they are being observed by a lot of strangers.
Interesting stuff.

FanjoKazooie Sun 28-Nov-10 09:25:13

I know what people mean about being wary about helping a child in case the parents become aggressive - e.g. removing a child from a climbing frame or similar. But in this case the mother was clearly desperate and would have loved someone to help.

Yikes to all your similar stories and well done to all the action takers amongst you!

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