Viral Video Grim Reminder of What Can Happen if Furniture is Not Secure

Furniture tip-over can happen in a split second.

Amy Artuso is a program manager in grants and advocacy at the National Safety Council and past chairman of the National Child Passenger Safety Board.

​By now you may have seen the video from Utah, where a nanny cam showed how a 2-year-old boy was forced to pull a dresser off his twin brother after the dresser fell on the child. It's a harrowing reminder of how important it is to secure furniture to prevent tip-overs and the injuries – and fatalities – that can follow.

Neither of the boys were hurt in the incident, fortunately, but the footage showed how innocently the incident started and how quickly it happened. The young boys opened one drawer each and, despite their size, were able to pull over the dresser in a fraction of a second. One boy was pinned beneath until his sibling was able to free him.

The boys' parents told reporters they were initially reluctant to share the video, but then they thought about what almost happened to their sons. In the hopes that other children would be protected against a similar incident, they released the tape to encourage other parents to take the time to secure the furniture in their own homes.

That's sound advice. The National Safety Council projects that a child is killed every two weeks when struck by falling television sets or furniture; an American Academy of Pediatrics study showed that in the United States falling televisions sets alone injure a child every 30 minutes. There are several tips available on how to prevent such incidents from happening in your home, including using sturdy furniture, securing any TVs that are not already mounted to the wall, and tethering top-heavy furniture items.

The footage from Utah – where no one was seriously hurt – was frightening. By taking steps today in your own home, you can prevent a worse incident from happening in your own home.

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