A two-year-old boy was caught on camera rescuing his twin brother from being pinned under a dresser, and even knowing that they’re both OK in the end, the video will make your heart jump straight up your throat and into your mouth. It’s a hard one to watch.
Utah parents Kayli and Ricky Shoff were sleeping in their room on Friday morning, but their toddler boys, Bowdy and Brock, had gotten up and were running around their room in their pajamas, playing with their toys. When Kayli Shoff woke up later and looked at the baby monitor, she saw the big dresser in the corner had fallen over, and she ran to check on the twins. They were running around, totally fine, and she says there “wasn’t a scratch” on either of them.
Later, when she was checking her surveillance camera footage to see how the dresser had fallen–her husband sells home-monitoring systems and has them installed throughout their house–she saw that the dresser had actually fallen right on top of the twins and pinned one of them underneath it. In the video, you can see the free twin, Bowdy Shoff, trying to figure out how to solve the problem. He tries to make the baby monitor work, but when that doesn’t work, he crawls over the dresser to try to pull it off. Finally he pushes it, and manages to push the whole thing off.
By the time Kayli Shoff had seen the video, she says her twins were running around like nothing had happened, but it was still terrifying to watch. After some discussion, she and her husband decided to share the video to help raise awareness of the fact that furniture has to be bolted to walls, because leaving large pieces of furniture untethered around children is not safe.
Father Ricky Shoff posted the video to Facebook, writing: “I’ve been a little hesitant to post this. But I feel it’s not only to bring awareness, but it is also incredible. 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 ok. Please make sure all your dressers are bolted and secured to the wall. Please share.”
It takes a lot of guts to share something like this on the Internet. We live in a world where a mother who feeds her child an organic applesauce pouch that turns out to have been tainted in the factory will be publicly shamed for feeding her child an organic fruit pouch instead of making her own applesauce from scratch. The world expects perfection from parents and it makes people feel a lot better to find someone to blame when something bad happens. This was a fuck-up, for sure. The dresser should have been bolted to the wall. But that’s the whole reason the Shoffs shared the video: To let other parents know that they need to bolt their furniture to the walls to prevent things like this from happening.
According to CNN, the Shoffs say the dresser in question is from IKEA. IKEA has not confirmed that, but the dresser in the picture does look like an IKEA Hemnes 8-drawer dresser. An IKEA spokesperson reiterated the importance of attaching dressers to walls, and points out that IKEA dressers come with restraints to attach them to walls, and says, “wall attachment is an integral part of the assembly instructions.”
Some parents still don’t know that dressers need to be attached to walls, and even if they do, they might not have a good idea of what furniture needs to be attached. A lightweight dresser, sure. But a lot of parents would probably feel safe around a dresser that size, because it seems like a toddler couldn’t reasonably tip it over. Toddlers don’t necessarily act in ways that are predictable to adults, and a parent might look at a dresser and think, “The toddler isn’t strong enough to move this” without thinking, “But if the toddler pulls all the drawers out, then climbs on it …”
This family is really lucky. Toddlers have been killed in exactly this situation. Just bolt everything to walls, because kids can surprise us with the things they can knock over.