Small children and dresser safety

Thursday, January 12th 2006, 10:16 am
By: News On 6

An Oklahoma couple wants to warn other parents about a common household hazard that very nearly killed their little 2-year-old boy.

James and Sheila Rector say their son was climbing on his bedroom dresser when it tipped over and a TV on top fell on his head.

They didn't think it could happen and as News on 6 reporter Steve Berg explains, they're betting other parents don't either.

Shelia Rector: "Y'know, at that moment I didn't know if he was dead of alive." It's been 6 weeks since the Rector family came home from a trip to grandma and grandpa's house. They had celebrated little Colin's 2nd birthday. And a happy day turned tragic. Sheila Rector: "I don't know if he pulled the drawer out and stood the climb up to get his pajamas, that's what he was going for and I just heard the commotion of the dresser and the TV fall and I went in there and he was unconscious."

Colin had a fractured skull and they later learned he had some brain damage. James and Sheila say it's been the longest 6 weeks of their life. And they say it didn't have to be that way. Sheila Rector: "He's the worst of the three for climbing around and getting into stuff. I'm sure every parent can relate to that y'know. I just don't want any parent to go through what we've been through, because it's been rough."

Ken Winters with Baby Proofers of Oklahoma says there are a number of different tethers and other products specially designed to anchor your furniture to the wall. The main thing he says is to secure it at the top of the furniture and be sure it's attached to a wall stud, not just the drywall. "They should be attached so they can support the weight, should it come to that."

Happily, Colin's recovery has been amazing. A month ago, he couldn't even move his right side. Sheila Rector: "A week ago Tuesday he started taking his first little steps and he said his first words, he said mama about a week ago, and I've been waiting a month to hear that again."

The Rectors say they heard about 3 other accidents like theirs in just the one month they've been at the hospital. There have been cases where children as old as 8 have been killed by tipping furniture.