KANSAS CITY NORTH — A surveillance video showing a dresser toppling over on top of a 2-year-old boy is shocking parents into taking action to make their homes safer.
A Northland couple founded the child safety group, Charlie’s House, after a similar incident took the life of their son in 2007.
Some parents say the video is difficult to watch, but also alerts them to just how easily a piece of furniture can put their child’s life in danger.
Parents in Utah decided to release this video of their twin 2-year-olds playing in their room last week.
A dresser, only about 30 inches high, topples over on top of Brock Shoff. It takes his brother, Bowdy, nearly two minutes to free his twin, who’s struggling to escape.
An eerily similar accident took the life of Brett Horn’s son, Charlie, nearly ten years ago.
In both cases, the parents say despite having some sort of monitoring device in the room, they never heard any crash or warning sounds that would make them realize something was wrong.
“Furniture and TV tip-over can often be referred to as a silent killer,” Horn said. “Because in our situation and it sounds like in the Utah situation we did not hear a big crash. Unfortunately, there was a child in-between the dresser and the floor which prohibited any large sound form being made.”
Just like the parents in Utah, Horn has taken steps to anchor every piece of furniture to the wall with “L” brackets or safety straps that are commonly available at a hardware store.
Horn says 30,000 people a year are crushed in home tip-over accidents. 25 children a year die in incidents that are easily preventable.
“I applaud the parents from Utah for releasing this video,” Horn said. “I would challenge most new parents, to ask them if they have every piece of furniture secured to the wall or every blind cord protected or every single item in their home protected. Any publicity toward educating parents further is good publicity.”
Charlie’s House is moving ahead with plans to build a safety demonstration house, the only one in the nation, in Kansas City.
To see an online virtual safety house and learn more about making your home safer, go to CharliesHouse.org.
You can also visit Anchor It! for more information.