Viral Video Brings Attention to Important Safety Issue for Families

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- It has become a viral video, a dresser falling over on twin two-year-olds. It shows a sweet moment between brothers as one helps the other, but it also brings up an important safety concern. According to Lexington Fire’s Medical Director, Dr. Ryan Stanton, across the country, emergency rooms see 45,000 cases per year of people who have been hit by furniture in their own homes. Stanton says nationally, every 20 to 30 minutes a child visits the ER to be treated after an object falls on them. It is what we see in the viral video from Utah, a scary experience that some parents in our area have already learned from.

Today, 14-year-old Tara is a happy teenager living in Garrard county with her mom and brother, but when she was a little more than a year old, Tara had a frightening encounter with a dresser that could have killed her.

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“I didn’t worry too much until you hear the thump,” Becky Howard, Tara’s Mom said.

That thump was the sound of a six drawer chest of drawers that fell as Tara tried to climb on it. Luckily, it hit her bed, leaving Tara safe underneath.

“I know if that bed had not stopped that chest of drawers she would not be here today. There’s no doubt in my mind,” Howard said.

Howard says her family’s experience looked a lot like what you see in the viral video. In it, twin two-year-olds climb on their dresser. It falls on them. One little boy then saves his brother, pushing the dresser off him. Their mom says she was embarrassed, but decided to post the video to make other parents aware.

“It’ll take you 5 to ten minutes and just bolt your dressers down. Bolt your bookshelves down and do it today,” Kayli Shoff said.

Howard agrees. That chest of drawers is no longer in Tara’s room.

“I picked it up and threw it out in the trash and there was no more bedroom furniture,” Howard said.

According to Dr. Stanton, you don’t have to throw away the furniture, but you must baby proof. Secure the furniture to the wall using bolts.

“They need to be tethered to a stud not just to the dry wall because that can actually pull out so just think like a child,” Stanton said.

That means mount TVs, remove top heavy items, latch drawers, and do not put books or toys on top shelves.

“If they can find a way to get in trouble, children will,” Stanton said.

Dr. Stanton says the number of cases he and his colleagues see in the ER have jumped with the popularity of flat screen TVs.

He says kids can break bones, suffocate, or face internal damage if a heavy object falls on them. Tara’s mom says the fix is an easy one.

“It might cost $2 for that bolt and that L bracket and it might save your kid’s life,” Howard said.

Last summer, the world’s largest furniture retailer, Ikea, recalled 29,000,000 dressers when three toddlers died. Ikea furniture fell on all three of them.

Luckily, according to their mom, the twins in the viral video are just fine.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!