PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There’s no doubt about it – children like to climb on furniture.
They see dressers and bookcases as ladders, especially if there is something exciting on top. Those pieces of furniture can tip over and lead to serious injury or death.
Kayli Shoff was horrified when a 100-pound dresser tipped over on top of her twins. The boys had been climbing on the drawers when it fell over.
“My heart sank. I didn’t know what to do, I felt like the worst mom,” says Shoff.
The incident was captured on the twins’ babycam and Shoff shared the video to show the danger. The video has been viewed millions of times.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, someone is injured in a furniture tip-over accident every 15 minutes and 33,000 injuries are treated in the emergency room.
In 2014, two little girls in Aliquippa, Ryeley and Brooklyn Beatty, were killed after a dresser fell on them in their home.
In 2016, IKEA recalled 29 million dressers because of a tip-over issue.
The statistics are staggering. Every two weeks, a child dies in a furniture tip-over accident. About, two-thirds of fatalities involve toddlers.
In an effort to make furniture safer, Sen. Bob Casey has introduced a bill that would require manufacturers to make dressers that don’t tip.
“There is no reason why a child should die when these companies know how to make these clothing units safe,” says Casey.
In the meantime, parents are left to make decisions about keeping their kids safe and their furniture in place.
Kimberly Finkbeiner runs Babyproofing Pittsburgh. She’s an expert in making sure furniture doesn’t tip-over.
Finkbeiner says make sure you secure furniture to the wall with heavy duty nylon straps.
“They go two per piece of furniture into studs in the wall and then to the back of the furniture,” says Finkbeiner.
She recommends against using plastic straps which are often provided by furniture manufacturers.
“I don’t like them because they have proven to fail in tip-over accidents and they can become brittle and break,” she said.
You should remove TVs and remote controls from the top of dressers, along with any tempting items that might encourage kids to climb.
And, make your furniture bottom heavy. Load dressers with heavy items in the bottom drawers and light items up top.
For more information, visit Anchor It’s website here.