Mother of twins Kayli Shoff thought her furniture was secure. That was, until the dresser fell on the boys, trapping one underneath.
Thankfully his twin brother’s quick thinking saved the day, but it’s been a wake up to parents around the world.
Shoff, a mum from Utah, and her husband found out the hard way just how scary falling furniture can be. The couples’ Ikea dresser (which was in their twin 2-year-old’s room) wasn’t secured to the wall. It had come with wall anchors, but the Shoff’s didn’t think that tethering the dresser was necessary.
In a now-viral (and completely frightening) video captured by the couple’s surveillance system, the mum and dad witnessed something that no parent ever wants to see – the dresser crashing down on their toddlers. The video showed 2-year-old brothers Brock and Bowdy playfully climbing on the dresser. As they climbed, the dresser began tipping and came falling down on the boys.
The video shows Brock being pinned under the dresser, while the piece of furniture only fell on Bowdy’s feet. The mum didn’t hear the dresser fall and there were no loud cries from the boys. What happened next? Bowdy freed himself, and then saved his twin brother.
Shoff told NBC News, “If you watch the video, I think he stops for about eight to 10 seconds and kind of analyses the situation: My brother’s crying, he’s hurting, how can I help him?” That’s exactly what the little boy did – he helped his brother.
The family took both twins to the paediatrician immediately. Luckily, neither of the children had any major injuries.
This latest furniture fall is a wake-up call to more than just the Shoff’s. The video already has more than 3.2 million views on YouTube. Shoff said (to NBC News), “I think we’ve made a big impact on people wanting to secure their dressers.” The mum went on to say, “You need to tie your dresser down today because honestly, if you wait a day or two, you’re just not going to get it done.”
In 2016 Ikea settled a $50 million lawsuit after three young children were killed when the Swedish furniture retailer’s dressers fell on them. Even though the company countered that it’s the buyer’s responsibility to securely anchor the dressers to the wall, they recalled 29 million chests. Along with the recall, Ikea offered free wall anchors and a one-time free in-home installation service.
In a 2015 “Furniture Stability Survey” the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found that one-quarter of survey participants have experienced some sort of falling furniture incident. Most of the parents surveyed said that the falling furniture incidents were near misses, and that in the future they’d be likely to buy wall anchors.
Even though the dangers of unsecured dressers are clear, they aren’t the only pieces of furniture that need to be secured. Anything (such as bookshelf, night stand or TV) can easily fall on a child. If the piece of furniture comes with a tether or wall anchor, use it. Use it right now. Don’t wait. If the item doesn’t come with a strap or anchor, you can buy one that works for the furniture’s size and weight or have a baby-proofing pro come to your home and install one.