A recent viral YouTube video from a home security camera shows a 2-year-old boy saving his twin brother in an impressive act of heroism. In the video, twins Bowdy and Brock Shoff were seen playing on the open drawers of a dresser on the early morning of December 29, 2016. Suddenly, the dresser tips over, pinning Brock underneath. Almost instinctively, Bowdy frees himself and attempts to push the dresser off the crying Brock, but it is obviously too heavy. Finally, after several failed attempts, Bowdy is able to nudge the dresser off his brother.
Luckily, neither child was injured. The Orem, Utah, parents were unaware of their boys’ antics or heroics until they later reviewed home surveillance footage. Kayli Shoff, mother of the twins, posted the video to YouTube in hopes that other parents would be warned of the dangers of not securing heavy furniture to the wall, and the story was soon featured in media all over the world. After the crisis was averted, she and the boys’ father, Ricky Shoff, were quick to bolt their IKEA furniture to the wall. They then took to Facebook to promote the same message the U.S. Consumer Products and Safety Commission (CPSC) has been preaching for years.
In June 2016, IKEA North America voluntarily recalled 29 million dressers and chests sold in the last fourteen years in the U.S. after at least three children were crushed to death involving one of their products. In December 2016, the Swedish retailer agreed to pay $50 million to three families of toddlers killed when the brand’s unanchored MALM dressers fell on top of them. In November 2016, the CPSC informed IKEA of a fourth previous fatality associated with the MALM dresser.
The recalled chests and dressers are unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, posing a serious tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or serious injury to children. Consumers may order a free wall-anchoring repair kit or request a full or partial refund from IKEA.
This issue isn’t isolated to IKEA furniture: chests and dressers are often “front heavy” and can easily topple over when a child climbs on them. A serious tip-over and entrapment hazard can result. Anchoring home furniture should be a part of child proofing in the home. The CPSC estimates that a child is injured every 24 minutes and one child dies every two weeks due to a TV, furniture, or appliance falling on him or her. Forty-five percent of cases occur within the bedroom.
“I’ve been a little hesitant to post this. But I feel it’s not only to bring awareness, but it is also incredible,” wrote Ricky Shoff, the twin boys’ father, in a Facebook post on New Year’s Day 2017. “We are so grateful for the bond that these twin brothers share. We know Bowdy was not alone in moving the dresser off of Brock. And feel blessed that he is okay. Please make sure all your dressers are bolted and secured to the wall. Please share.”
Reviewed by Dr. Kristie Rivers, September 2020
- A child is injured every 24 minutes and one child dies every 2 weeks due to a TV, furniture, or appliance falling on him or her.
- Properly anchor home furniture and TVs to the wall to prevent injury.